Altnagelvin Hospital’s Sister Nichola Cairns commended as ‘Outstanding Staff Champion’ in dementia care

Western Trust’s Trauma and Orthopaedic Ward Manager Sister Nichola Cairns was highly commended as an Outstanding Staff Champion for her support and commitment to volunteers who work with dementia patients.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:08 pm
Sister Nichola Cairns pictured at the Helpforce Champions Awards 2019 ceremony in London

Western Trust’s Trauma and Orthopaedic Ward Manager Sister Nichola Cairns was highly commended as an Outstanding Staff Champion for her support and commitment to volunteers who work with dementia patients.

Nichola along with Niall Millar, Meet and Great Volunteer at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex were the only two shortlisted from HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland and travelled to the ceremony which took place in central London on Friday 25 October.

By shining a light on the range of ways that volunteers are involved in the NHS, the Helpforce Champions Awards show that dedicated volunteers can contribute to a more compassionate care system for everyone.

Speaking about her nomination Sr Cairns said: “It is a privilege and honour for me to meet our volunteers who give up their time to help in the ward. I am truly humbled by the nomination which reflects the work that the entire Trauma and Orthopaedic Ward do for dementia patients. I am delighted to have been highly commended in the Helpforce Champions Awards 2019 and I met so many inspirational people at the celebration event. When you see the activities going on in the NHS nationwide it reinforces that the work done by our many volunteers is exceptional. Our Western Trust volunteers are just priceless.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of Helpforce, said: “It is fantastic to see so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the NHS in the UK. It is a privilege to hold these awards and celebrate volunteers across the UK.”

Anne Love, MBE Volunteer Services Manager for the Western Trust who nominated Sister Cairns said: “The volunteer role is important in supporting our staff and enriching the patient/client experience. Effective volunteer involvement is very much dependent on the support of staff and we are indebted to leaders like Sister Cairns who ensure that volunteers are incorporated into the team and well looked after. Through her leadership and commitment volunteer involvement benefits all.”

Anne added: “Sister Cairns has introduced a Ward Dementia Champion who works closely with the Trust’s Volunteer office to identify and source resources for the Dementia Friend role. She has made it her business to get to know the volunteers by name and to make them feel welcome and appreciated. The volunteers know they are valued and there is no doubt the volunteers enrich the patient experience.”

Helpforce is a national movement on a mission to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and communities through the power of volunteering. It is working with hospitals and healthcare workers to help shape the future of volunteering in the NHS. Backed by leaders in the world of healthcare, it aims to make community-integrated healthcare the norm across the UK.