Gary Thomas – Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust

1st July 2020

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Gary is an outstanding, highly valued member of our volunteering team and makes a huge difference to the lives of the patients he supports. He provides emotional support and companionship to patients on our vascular wards who are facing an amputation. As an amputee himself, Gary has enormous empathy and understanding of the impact of this diagnosis and uses his own experience to support, encourage and inspire those he meets.

Gary is integrated amongst the Multi-Disciplinary Team, often receiving direct referrals from the consultants and nurses who recognise the therapeutic benefit he provides to patients who are either struggling to consent to the surgery or trying to adjust to life following an amputation. Gary’s warmth, sincerity and humour enable him to make lasting connections with the patients and families that he meets.

Gary volunteers three times a week, and last year undertook further training to become a palliative care volunteer in addition to his vascular role. He now volunteers each week on our palliative care unit, supporting patients who are nearing the end of life and have no or few visitors, and providing a listening ear to friends and families.

Gary provides a sense of hope for so many at a dark and desperate time. He often makes additional visits to patients who are struggling, even coming in on Christmas Day. His selfless contribution and commitment to enhance patient experience is truly humbling. We cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this prestigious award.