We Can Do It awards 2019: Family of man who gave flowers out at hospital present award in his memory

THROUGHOUT hospital wards, the face of Melvin Louch became a familiar one to patients and staff alike.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 7:11 am
Pictured is: (left) Jack Edwards, creative director and (right) Paul Woolf, CEO of the Kings Theatre with Melvin Louch's family (l-r) Vi Louch, Rachel Moore, TJ Louch-Stephens and Maria Moore presenting the Melvin Louch Overall Winner Award to Sarah-Louise Page, which Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth, collected on her behalf. Picture: Sarah Standing (181119-1258)

Melvin, from Denmead, was saved by staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham after two heart attacks, a stroke and a kidney failure.

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After doctors saved his life, Melvin – known by his friends as Bob – went to the hospital every day, carrying flowers to hand out to those who needed an uplifting boost.

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Melvin Louch at his home in Denmead. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Sadly, Melvin died in July, but was shortlisted for the Service with a Smile award at the 2019 We Can Do It awards, held at the Kings Theatre in Southsea.

Despite not winning an award, the judges and The News wanted to do something special for Melvin and his family.

From now on, the prize for the winner of the evening will be known as the Melvin Louch Overall Winner award.

In an emotional moment last night, his family took to the stage to present the award for the first time, which was won by Sarah-Louise Page, who rescued 71-year-old Brian Marshall when the kitchen in his Waterlooville home went up in flames.

Melvin’s wife Vi, 79, said: ‘He would have loved this evening.

‘He would always say that you can say thank you to someone but that’s not enough – that really sums him up.

‘When I told The News what had happened to him, they came back with this proposal for the award. I was a bit gobsmacked, to be honest.’

Daughter Maria Moore, 51, added: ‘To go and present the award was a really special feeling, a totally humbling experience.

‘Dad would have been chuffed to pieces, he was never at a loss for words but I think something like this would have left him speechless.’

Following Melvin’s death, Vi and the family found themselves inundated with cards from those whose lives he touched, offering their condolences.

‘I couldn’t get over the amount of support that came flooding in,’ she said.

‘Everyone said what a lovely man he was and kind or helpful he was for them.’

Daughter Rachel Moore, 50, added: ‘Tonight was a huge honour for us as a family.

‘All the award nominees and winners were very deserving – it’s nice to give people recognition for the things they do.’

But like all of last night’s winners, recognition was not the reason why Melvin could be seen handing out flowers round QA.

Vi said: ‘I don’t think the idea of being recognised for what he did even crossed his mind.

‘He wouldn’t have thought about what he was doing in that way, because that wasn't the reason he did it.

‘The only thing he ever thought about was putting a smile on other people’s faces.’

Going forward, Melvin’s family will be attending every We Can Do It awards evening to present the prize to the overall winner.

‘Tonight has been brilliant,’ said Maria.

‘It’s lovely to see what people in the community are doing for one another; it’s just what dad was about.’