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National ‘Unsung Hero’ award win for Maternity Secretary at the Cumberland Infirmary

Laura Bell

An obstetrics secretary who works in Maternity services at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been awarded a top national accolade.

Laura Bell received the ‘Everyday Hero – admin & clerical’ award in Manchester on Friday 1 March at a ceremony which is the only national awards for non-clinical NHS staff and volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Laura was one of 158 people who were nominated nationally, with 18 judges deciding on the outcome.

Laura was nominated for the award by Andrea Ewing, specialist bereavement midwife, as she wanted to show her appreciation for the work Laura does in the department, transforming the office, making the lives of doctors and midwives in the department better and her dedication to mothers and families suffering a pregnancy loss. Andrea listed multiple examples of Laura’s excellent work in her nomination.

Commenting after her win, Laura said: “I am completely overwhelmed to have won this award. The nomination itself came as a huge surprise to me so actually winning totally blew me away; it is a massive achievement for me.

“I have been amazed by the support from all my colleagues for this award in both Maternity and Women’s Outpatients. I feel honoured that my manager Andrea took the time to nominate me. She is absolutely brilliant at her job and is a delight to work alongside. The awards ceremony in Manchester was brilliant – there were so many inspiring nominations, it was great to be a part of it.  I am truly humbled to know that my work makes a difference to a bereaved family in their time of need”.

After nominating Laura, Andrea Ewing said: “Although I can recite many examples of what Laura brings to the job, I nominated her because of her dedication to the work I am involved in. I work with bereaved families who have had the misfortune of losing their baby in pregnancy or shortly after.

“Laura has taken a real interest in what happens to them and she ensures she is aware of the situation behind each loss. I am reassured that when I am not in work, Laura is there if anyone gets in touch and she will inform me if there is anything urgent. I am delighted that Laura has been recognised for all of her hard work and commitment.”

A champagne reception for the fifth annual Unsung Hero Awards event was held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester on Friday 1st March. The event was hosted by Dom Tomlinson, founder of the awards.  His idea for the awards came to him when he realised there were no national awards for such employees in the NHS who work extremely hard behind the scenes and often go unnoticed.

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