David Sloman, CEO, talks to volunteers at the partyThis year, the Royal Free Charity’s annual volunteer party and long service awards was a celebration fit for movie stars, based on the theme of the golden age of Hollywood!  Many volunteers and trust staff got together to acknowledge the amazing work carried out by hundreds of individuals volunteers who offer their time for free, at our hospitals.

The event, opened by Royal Free Charity chairwoman, Julia Palca, welcomed everyone and thanked all the volunteers, past and present, for their loyalty and dedication.  Dominic Dodd, Royal Free London chairman and David Sloman, Royal Free London chief executive, continued with the awards ceremony, but not before Dominic presented David with his annual quiz on this year’s volunteer achievements. Both paid tribute to our volunteers' many years of service to the trust.

Dominic said:  “It is an honour to be part of this special occasion to recognise the huge contribution made by the volunteers. Our volunteers perform many different roles which are highly valued by our patients, from helping people find their way around to reading at their bedside. For all that you do, I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the trust.”

In true Hollywood style the restaurant at the Royal Free Hospital was transformed with yellow roses decorating the tables and VIP guests included cardboard cut-outs of Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. Lots of volunteers, dressed to match the occasion, took the opportunity to take photos with our special ‘guests'.

View photos from the volunteer party.

The occasion continues to be funded and supported by the Royal Free Charity where volunteers were awarded certificates and badges for five, ten, 15, 20 and 25 years’ service. For the first time this year, the charity was also proud to hand out an award for an individual who has volunteered in the chaplaincy service for more than 30 years.

Chris Burghes, Royal Free Charity chief executive, said: “The volunteers’ party is the charity’s way of saying thank you to all the wonderful volunteers for their time, dedication and commitment to the Royal Free London. To see so many of the 500 volunteers we have attend the party and hear about what they do and how it benefits the patients of the hospital was a humbling experience. 
The charity has invested heavily in volunteering over the past 12 months and will continue to do so. The trustees believe that individuals can make a difference and help improve the patient experience.”

Guests were also entertained by a live band, 'The Lungbusters', comprising a medical director, consultant, doctor and professor from neighbouring London trusts, who volunteered their services for the evening. VIP guest, Barbara Snow, former trumpet player for the Jools Holland Big Band and lead singer, Faye Hamilton, both gave up their evening to ensure the awards were a great success.


Notes to editors

Media contacts: rf.mediaenquiries@nhs.net or call 020 7472 6665

Image: David Sloman, chief executive of Royal Free London, talks to volunteers and guests at the party

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read our news story: A bigger trust, a better future.