NGH restaurant worker wins her category in national 2024 Unsung Hero Awards

Alana's acts of kindness win her an award
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A restaurant worker at Northampton General Hospital has won a national Unsung Hero Award for the compassion, kindness, and empathy she showed to a hospital visitor.

Alana Ricketts, who works as a Restaurant Food Service Assistant, was named as the winner of the award’s Estates and Ancillary Individual category.

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The hospital’s Volunteer Services Team also made it to the finals of the awards.

Restaurant worker Alana Ricketts receiving her Unsung Hero AwardRestaurant worker Alana Ricketts receiving her Unsung Hero Award
Restaurant worker Alana Ricketts receiving her Unsung Hero Award

The national Unsung Hero Awards (UHA) were established in 2015 to celebrate the contributions made by non-medical, non-clinical NHS staff and volunteers.

Alana was nominated for the kindness and compassion she showed to a visitor who had been in the hospital daily to visit a loved one.

She took the time to speak to them about what was going on in their life and supported them during a difficult time. She had also asked her colleagues to check in on the visitor and so everyday someone from the team would check in with them.

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One day, during their regular chats, she presented them with a handwritten card and a small gift to boost their spirits.

After the event Alana said: "It was so exciting to win! The whole evening was a really rewarding experience and a change from the usual workday. I had no idea at all that I'd won and I didn't know what to say. It feels so nice to know I made a difference to someone.”

Her winning mention on the award website reads: “In her day-to-day role Alana is a key point of contact for patients, relatives, and staff. It would have been easy to just serve a customer and move on, but Alana noticed that they needed some extra care and compassion, which made a huge difference to them during a very difficult time. Alana is a kind and compassionate member of the team, and she embodies the spirit and values of the NHS.”

Palmer Winstanley, Acting Chief Executive at Northampton General Hospital, said: “Alana went above and beyond her job description, demonstrating compassion, empathy, and kindness for the patient and their loved one.

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“The visitor was so touched by her efforts that they wrote to Alana’s manager to praise and thank her for the kindness she showed for someone she barely knew. We are all extremely proud of Alana and delighted that she won her award category. We are also extremely proud of our Volunteers Services Team who also made it to the finals of the event and make such a difference to our hospital every day.”

The awards took place in Manchester on Friday 15 March.

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