Hospital trust's therapy dog joins the list of loyal volunteers

Cognac in children's outpatients

A border collie will be among 56 volunteers being honoured by Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust at a long service ceremony on Friday (4 December).

Cognac, who will be recognised for five years of committed work in his Pets as Therapy (PAT) charity role, visits a variety of wards and the hospital’s rehabilitation unit on Wednesday afternoons with his owner Sue Cole.

Members of many voluntary organisations active within SUHT, such as the Friends of Southampton General Hospital, Southampton Hospital Radio, Radio Lollipop, the British Red Cross and Talking Echo will be in attendance.

Mick and Maggie Mole have volunteered for a combined 90 years with the League Of Friends and will be thanked with two separate awards marking 45 years each.

Meanwhile, Reg Lowman has broken all records by completing 55 years as a volunteer with the Friends of SGH and Bryan Dowding celebrates 40 years as a key part of Southampton Hospital Radio.

In addition, 97-year-old Hilda Kemp, who can be found in the League of Friends shop two days a week, and Karla Gunn, a staff member before becoming an established volunteer, will be presented with 40-year distinctions.

Councillor Elizabeth Mizon, Mayor of Southampton, and John Trewby, SUHT chairman, will present the long service awards.

Kim Sutton, voluntary services manager, said: “This year’s awards ceremony will be a truly remarkable event with so many committed and dedicated people being honoured for the tremendous service they have given us.

“Every single volunteer gives up so much of their time to improve the experience for our patients and these awards give us a chance to show just how much we appreciate their efforts.”

Posted on Tuesday 1 December 2009