The hard work put in by two dedicated supporters of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and an Occupational Therapist has been recognised during a prestigious award ceremony.
Fundraiser Gavin English and Mick Ennis, Secretary of Friends of the Stroke Unit, were both presented with Mayor’s Civic Awards for Voluntary Service during a ceremony on March 29.
Also receiving an award on the night was West Raynham Ward Occupational Therapist Andrea Pearson, who was honoured for her voluntary work with three King’s Lynn organisations.
The Borough Council for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has been running the awards for more than 20 years to recognise those who give up their time to help others in the community.
Mr English has raised more than £25,000 for the Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Care and Treatment Centre in the last three years.
He began fundraising within months of losing his wife Frances to cancer in 2013 after fulfilling one of her final wishes to sell her clothes to give something back to the centre.
Over the last three years, Mr English has manned countless supermarket collections, attended car boot sales and wrote two books to support the hospital.
He was nominated for the award by the Hospital’s Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs, to recognise that he is a “unique and outstanding supporter”.
Mr English, 79, of Docking, said: “I was surprised and pleased to receive the award but this award is not for me but for the charity and Frances.
“At the end of the day, I get as much out of fundraising as I put in. I love to help people, especially those who are going to the same centre as Frances. They looked after her so well and this is the only way I can try and repay them.”
Mr Ennis, 75, of Fairstead, received his award for work as Secretary for Friends of the Stroke Unit along with his role as Welfare Officer for Ryston Runners.
He has been a valued member of the Friends of the Stroke Unit for seven years after losing his wife Carole, who suffered a stroke. Mr Ennis also lost his daughter to cancer two-years-ago.
Mr Ennis is a huge support to the staff on West Raynham Ward, the hospital’s A rated Stroke Unit, by not only fundraising but ensuring that patients have important items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. The Friends of the Stroke Unit have also supported the recent renovation of the ward and its day room.
He has been a member of Ryston Runners for six years after being inspired to get back into running. During one of the weekly 5km Park Runs, Mr Ennis was encouraged to train with the club in order to take on the Grand East Anglian Run and has gone onto play an important role.
He was nominated for an award by Andy Harrod and Paul Brandon.
Mr Ennis said: “It is brilliant to receive this award but it is a team effort. It is nice to have the recognition and to know that it is appreciated.
“I like to keep in touch with the staff on West Raynham to know what they need so I can report back to our committee.”
Occupational Therapist Andrea Pearson was put forward for her an award to recognise her work with the King’s Lynn branch of Soroptimist International, St Faith’s Church and the 5th King’s Lynn Beaver colony.
Miss Pearson was put forward for the award by her friends in the Soroptimist group.
She said: “It was a bit of a shock when I found out that I had been nominated but a pleasant surprise and a great honour.
“It was a lovely evening and nice to see what other volunteers have been doing in the community.”
Interim Chief Executive Karen Croker has congratulated Mr English and Mr Ennis on their awards.
She said: “These awards are well-deserved as both Mr English and Mr Ennis give so much to the hospital.
“Their hard work, donations and time help our medical teams to provide the highest standard of care for our patients.
“I would like to thank Mr Ennis and Mr English for their support.”
Andrea Pearson, Interim Chief Executive Karen Croker, Mick Ennis and Gavin English are pictured