Young volunteer at Trust wins local and national awards

Date: 08/06/2023 | Category: News 2023

Maya, aged 18 and a young volunteer at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, has recently been awarded the Cadet Award from Therapy Dogs Nationwide and the Proud of Bucks Young Community Champion Award.

Maya’s journey to volunteering started around a year ago following admissions to Ward 3 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Volunteering has been a significant part of her recovery and she regularly visits Ward 3 with her therapy dog Marley as well as visiting a care home locally.

The team on Ward 3 nominated Maya for the Proud of Bucks Young Community Champion Award: “…Maya comes every Wednesday with her mum, Juliet and Marley and to see the patients and us on the ward. She is so warm and friendly with all the children no matter what age they are. She is always smiling and engages with the children and their parents. Our patients meet Maya and we feel it gives them hope for their own future and strength to make the changes that are needed to improve their own lives.”

Since volunteering on the ward Maya has decided that she would like to go on and study to become a Paediatric Nurse.

Maya was also awarded a prestigious Cadet Award at Crufts 2023 from Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN). Since joining in 2022 she’s shown unwavering dedication and unyielding passion for TDN.

Maya said: “I really enjoy visiting the children’s ward each week with my dog Marley. I love spending time with the children – however sad and ill a child is they are always smiling at the end of our visit.”

Bridget O’Kelly, Chief People Officer for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: “It’s wonderful news to hear that Maya has been recognised, both locally and nationally, for her commitment to volunteering at the Trust and within the wider community. We have over 60 young volunteers at the Trust, and we are very grateful for their dedication and time to support and enhance the experience of patients, visitors and staff.”

Therapy Dogs Nationwide said: “As a Cadet, Maya represents the future of our charity, and her outstanding achievements have highlighted just how incredible and invaluable they are. We are so proud of Maya, and hugely grateful for not only sharing the companionship of Marley, but also for providing unwavering support to the many people she visits. Her selfless contributions have left an indelible mark on our organisation, and we are incredibly proud to have Maya as part of our team.”

Maya on the left and Marley on the right on a recent visit to the new Children’s Emergency Department

Maya and Marley on a recent visit to the new Children’s Emergency Department

Maya on the right and Marley sitting on a patients bed on the left visiting Ward 3 (Children’s Ward)

Maya and Marley visiting Ward 3 (Children’s Ward)