On the record
For Valerie, winning the award came as a complete shock – one that left her close to tears and shaking with emotion. “I just can’t believe it,” said the 72-year-old who dedicates every Friday to volunteering at Bicester Community Hospital.
She’s been generously giving up her free time to help out at the hospital for the past 12 years. But it’s not a place that’s unfamiliar to her. In fact she worked in the admin department at the old Bicester site until she retired at 60 and went on to work in the new hospital too for a short spell because ‘the place and the people are so special.’
Valerie is now one of 16 volunteers at Bicester. She gives up her time to go in to chat to patients and make them a cuppa.
“I love being there and I’d go in ever day if I could, “ she laughed. “Many of the patients are elderly and are pleased to have company and a chat. Some don’t get visitors, so I like to help break up their day. I’ll keep volunteering for as long as I can.”
Valerie was joined at the event by super proud husband Trevor. “He was over the moon that I won. I had sworn him to secrecy that I had been nominated and as soon I’d won he was WhatsApping our three sons to tell them the good news.“