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UHBW oncology volunteer receives Queen’s Platinum Champion volunteer award

An oncology volunteer at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) has been recognised with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee award.

Volunteer Hilary Emery holds up her Queen's Platinum Jubliee award and certificate.
Hilary Emery

Hilary Emery, a volunteer at Weston General Hospital’s Haematology & Oncology Day Unit, has been awarded a Platinum Champion volunteer award, a scheme kicked off by the Royal Voluntary Service and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Hilary is the only person in North Somerset to have received the award, and one of only 490 people in the UK.

She says the award is representative of the efforts of every healthcare volunteer, not just her own. Hilary said: “Although I personally got the award, I feel that I’m carrying the flag for all the volunteers at the Trust and beyond.”

Hilary had previously worked in the NHS for 42 years before retiring in 2005 and starting a volunteering role at Weston General Hospital in 2006. Although volunteers are in place in a wide variety of roles across the Trust, Hilary prefers a patient-facing role.

In addition to her role at the Trust, Hilary also volunteers at Weston Hospice Care, which she says compliments her role on the Day Unit.

Hilary said: “Some of the patients I see on the unit I then see later on during my role in the hospice - the two things link in very well. The teams are fantastic and very committed, and everyone is always so grateful.”

Upon finding out she had won the award, Hilary said that she felt a great sense of pride.

She said: “It was nice to think somebody out there thinks I’m worth nominating for this award. While getting this award was a lovely surprise, ultimately, you don’t do it for that, you do it to help people.”

Hilary would encourage anyone to consider volunteering at the Trust.

She added: “Have a look at what is on offer, because there really is something for everyone. Some people like to be in contact with patients, some people like to be behind the scenes. It doesn’t really matter where you are; you are a volunteer and everything you are doing is important, and as long as I’m fit and able, I will be there.”

Lucy Bayley, Voluntary Services Coordinator at UHBW, added: “We are very proud of Hilary and the well-deserved recognition she has received for her commitment to volunteering.  Thank you for the support you have provided to the patients, staff and visitors of UHBW, Hilary.”

If you’d like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities within our hospitals, you can find more information here.