A SUPPORT worker was reduced to tears after being named as a winner at The News’ Best of Health Awards.
Lesley McGuiness, who works at the Amulree Assessment Centre in St Mary’s Hospital in Milton – which runs three clinics for patients over 65 – was left in awe as she picking up the Unsung Hero award.
I just work there! I do my bit, like everybody else and I would never have thought that people will have taken the time to say nice things about meLesley McGuiness
Lesley received scores of nominations from patients and colleagues alike and was overcome with emotion at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday night.
She told The News: ‘I’m just so emotional about it. I never would have thought in a million years that I would be picking up this up.
‘I’m just so shocked. You just don’t expect things like this to happen.’
Lesley was given a loud round of applause from the guests at the ceremony as she walked on the stage.
She delivered a heartwarming speech from the podium in which she fought back the tears.
She said: ‘I just work there! I do my bit, like everybody else and I would never have thought that people would have taken the time to say nice things about me.
‘For me, this is my job and if people think I’m doing it right then that makes me very happy indeed.
‘I’m so very proud to have picked this up and it really means the world to me.’
The award is given to those who enhance what the NHS can offer for patients.
It is all about those who work behind-the-scenes who make a difference beyond the front-line doctors and nurses – whether they are volunteers or professionals.
Lesley added: ‘I was shocked enough to find out that I’d been nominated let alone be picking up an award here tonight.
‘I want to say a huge thanks to all who have come forward to nominate me.
‘I really just do my job and work with my fantastic team, who also mean the world to me as we are so close-knit and do all that we can to help one another.
‘I am so honoured to have collected this award.’
Lesley is known for being both compassionate and caring towards her patients, always giving the staff the support that they need.
She is said to regularly go out of her way to support others, always doing so with a big smile on her face.
Becky Lane, one of Lesley’s co-workers at the centre, said: ‘She basically keeps our unit running in the background without asking for recognition or praise.’
Lesley added: ‘This is one of the nicest surprises I’ve ever had.
The runner-up in the category on the night was Eric Compton, chairman of Breathe Easy Portsmouth, a support group.
Eric accepted the award, thanking those who had nominated him and supported his work.
He is described as being the ‘perfect example’ of an unsung hero.
A nominee added: ‘He works hard and remains dedicated to the Breathe Easy group ensuring they have informative meetings and advice is always available.’
A total of 11 winners picked up awards at the seventh annual ceremony.
Don’t miss The News all week for more reaction and pictures.