06 May 2015 - Awards Ceremony Celebrates Everyday Heroes

Accolades were given to North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) staff and volunteers at the fifth annual Going the Extra Mile Awards’ Ceremony hosted by the Trust.

Inspirational stories of individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to benefit patients throughout the region were celebrated at the awards’ ceremony on 23 April 2015.

Most of the awards were peer nominated and winners were selected by NWAS’ Chairman, Chief Executive and Associate Director Strategic Communications before being handed out on the night by presenter and radio DJ Glen Hunt.

Paramedic Gayner Hughes of Blackpool Ambulance Station won the award for Frontline Staff Member of the Year – Emergency Service.

Gayner was awarded because of her innate nature to do the best for everyone she comes into contact with. From caring for bereaved children to helping out her at her family business, Gayner’s nominator described how she always goes the extra mile and her enthusiasm to make a difference to patients in Blackpool deserved to be recognised.

Angie Lee who manages the ambulance service’s emergency operations centre, based on Princess Road in Manchester, was presented with the Leader of the Year award whilst her daughter Sophie, who took a 999 call handling job two years ago to follow in mum’s footsteps, took away the gong for Frontline Staff Member of the Year – Emergency Operations Centre.

Angie, who has worked in the Service for 16 years, was nominated for supporting, motivating and leading her teams during the unprecedented periods of high demand experienced by the ambulance service during the winter months.

Sophie was nominated by a colleague for her calming nature whilst taking a 999 call from a child and for her confidence in dealing with a number of traumatic 999 calls during her first week, including hangings, stabbings and infant cardiac arrests.

Beverley Morris, who answers calls to the NHS 111 service at the Middlebrook based centre in Horwich, took home the award for NHS 111 Frontline Staff Member of the Year. Her nominator described Beverley as an “excellent” call handler with an “exemplary attitude” and approach to work, particular during busy times.

Paramedic Ruth Thomas of Preston Ambulance Station won the Student Learner of the Year award for overcoming her fear of failure because of her personal challenges with dyslexia, always wanting to learn more and ultimately passing her course with flying colours. 

Derek Hulse from Southport took home the Volunteer Car Driver of the Year award for his role as a car driver who takes patients to and from non-emergency hospital appointments. Described as a ‘wonderful person’ who looks out for those less fortunate than himself, Derek won the award for his willingness to do anything he can to help, often at short notice, which has seen him leaving meals half cooked to rush out and help!

Simon Doyle from Sabden in Lancashire walked away with the Community First Responder Volunteer of the Year Award for his role as an Enhanced Community First Responder, which sees him giving up his free time to attend ambulance emergency 999 calls to provide help and reassurance before professional medics arrive.

His nominator described how Simon has saved the day on many occasions using his 4x4 vehicle, often helping ambulance crews to reach critical patients in muddy or snowy conditions, and digging out escape routes to ensure patients can be taken speedily off to hospital.

Simon Morrell from Altrincham’s community first responder team, Geoff Pogson from Oldham’s community first responder team and Steve Nicholls, a Community Resuscitation Development Officer

At NWAS walked away with a special commendation for putting together a regional training event to boost the skills of NWAS’ volunteers in order to help save more lives.

Others to be awarded on the night included Gareth Lloyd-Jones and Steph Munro of Leyland Ambulance Station and Dave Bridge of Wesham Ambulance Station who together received a special commendation for attempting to save the life of a woman they found in cardiac arrest whilst they were off duty.

Chief Executive at NWAS, Bob Williams said: “The actions of our staff are truly inspirational and I am extremely proud to lead this organisation which boasts many individuals who work tirelessly, both on the frontline and behind the scenes, to achieve the best service for our patients.”

The final award on the night was given to Manchester city centre medics Tracey Woods and Nathan Bryson who took home the most prestigious award - The Chief Executive’s Award for Care and Compassion in honour of Simon Williams.

Their nominator described a duo whose supportive manner extends to colleagues and managers as well as their patients. But what tipped the pair for the top award was a heartfelt poem written about them and sent to the ambulance service by a grateful patient.

Speaking of the winners, Bob said: “The winners of my care and compassion award this year were selected for delivering the absolute pinnacle of compassionate care every day, both in and out of work.

“A poem written by a patient cared for by Tracey and Nathan really highlighted what special people they are. Ambulance crews are in a privileged when they enter patients’ homes, during fearsome times and help to makes things better. It takes extraordinary people to do this job.”

Over 150 guests attended the esteemed event at Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire which was funded entirely by generous donations from sponsors Physio-Control, Virgin Media Business, MIS Emergency Systems Limited, SF Taylor and Arco.