The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers

The Unsung Hero Awards 2018 – A Night To Remember!

26th February 2018

The Unsung Hero Awards 2018 are now over and what an unbelievable night it was! We welcomed guests from all over the country, from CEO’s and CIO’s, to Non-Medical staff in positions that are less visible. Many of these individuals left winners and we know all will look forward to placing their trophies on their mantelpieces, or work desks. 

From everyone at The Unsung Hero Awards: we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this year’s event one to remember!

 As we welcomed guests on Friday night, it became quickly apparent that the level of anticipation and excitement in the room was high. Friendly faces were all around, with guests constantly commenting on how much they had been looking forward to the event. Many guests also mentioned that they were humbled to have been nominated, and that in their minds they were already a ‘winner’ for just being nominated.

The 2018 Unsung Hero Awards were officially opened by the Mayor of Greater Manchester – Andy Burnham. Mr Burnham was highly enthusiastic about the awards and the NHS in general, recounting how growing up his mother was a GP Receptionist. MP for Leigh Jo Platt, also in attendance, was supportive of the notion of celebrating members of staff who work hard in their positions to make positive change. Jo herself has raised through the ranks of government to become Leigh’s first female MP.

As the event got underway introductions were made and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT represented their in-house charity, with speaker Professor Lucy Chappell urging people to bid on Silent Auction items. The bids were to raise money for their not-for-profit organisation, which treats up to 300 children and young adults a day.

Silent Auction Prizes

The night continued an a high-note when our guests sat down to a luxurious three course meal and were treated to the smooth, melodic voice and musical accompaniment of Jeremy Sassoon; ex doctor turned events musician. Jeremy was the absolute professional, playing well-known classic after classic and making sure to interact with the audience to enhance their enjoyment. Our event photographer, Colin A. Boulter, photographed throughout the night and made sure to capture those moments of genuine emotion, that were prevalent from start to finish.

Ecstatic Winners!

As the meal drew to a close, Karen Jackson, former CEO of Southport and Ormskirk hospital, gave a moving speech on the importance of non-medical staff within the NHS. She recounted her time when she was Trust CEO and worked with a cleaner, scrubbing toilets and walls dressed in scrubs and barely recognisable to her staff. Karen noted, sadly, how differently she was treated by members of the trust; compared to when she returned to the hospital the next day dressed in her typical managerial clothes.

The speech was apt timing as it led directly into the awards themselves; arguably the high-light of the night with winner after winner showing surprised appreciation and gratitude for their award. We are proud to announce the following teams and individuals as the official winners of the 2018 Unsung Hero Awards.

Karen Jackson’s Key Note Speech on the need for recognition of staff at all levels 

After the awards concluded, so did the night, with drinking, socialising and networking. The end of the event was also a first for many people: a first to interact with a wide-range of attendees from different backgrounds and walks of life. There were members of our sponsor organisations present; from multinational companies such as Barclays and Cerner, socialising with CEO’s of trusts, such as The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In the audience were also employees from these Hospitals, ranging from managerial positions – Directors, HR Managers and General Managers, to Porters, Cleaners, Security Guards, Receptionists and members of Play Teams.

Sponsors Barclays with UHA founder Don Tomlinson 

The Awards would not have been possible without the generous support of our Sponsors and Partners. We are proud to be able to thank the following companies for their time, focus and sponsorship this year:

  • Cerner: Sponsor of the IT Category, Nominee Certificates and Name Cards
  • Fortrus: Sponsor of the Admin & Clerical Category

The Unsung Hero Awards exists as a sign of gratitude for the dedication of non-medical staff to the founding principles of the NHS: to provide universal, equitable, comprehensive, high-quality healthcare that is free at point of use. However, more than ideals, the many individuals who were nominated were recognised for their hard work, talent, determination and willingness to go above and beyond.

Healing and Helping Hands 

We look forward to seeing you all again next year for the Unsung Hero Awards 2019. Until then know that:

“For the words that go unsaid,

And the deeds that go unseen,

A hero lives in you,

And the unsung work that you do”


By Laura Tomlinson, Relationship Manager, Unsung Hero Awards 

Poem by Sophie Alexandra Tomlinson 

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