Great Listener Award 2021

Great Listener Award, 2021

Please find below all the nominations for the Great Listener Award, 2021.

To cast your vote, click here.

Central and West Region

1. Dewi Edwards (Call Handler Co-ordinator)

I started as a call handler in Thanet in November of 2020 during the middle of the 2nd pandemic wave. This was a difficult and challenging time to begin my training. I lost a family member to Covid and almost lost another family member. During this time I feel that Dewi has been a great listener, has taken his time to support me during a difficult time and ease me gently into working within the call centre. I have worked within many different roles in the NHS and Dewi has been the most patient and attentive line manager to date. No matter what he is doing he will always make time to listen to any concerns or if you need to seek advice. Because of this I feel I have been become confident within my role. Other staff members have commented on Dewi always being there to listen to any concerns etc. and for this I would like to nominate him.

2. Dorian Williams (deceased) - Emergency Medcial Technician

Dorian had a special interest in counseling and helping others and went above and beyond to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of colleagues. Sadly, we lost Dorian this year, so I'd like to nominate him for a posthumous award.

3. Garin Lloyd (NEPTS Call Handler)

Garin recently joined WAST and has gone from strength to strength. He has gone over and above to assist our patients including some patients that have had ongoing mental health concerns. Garin within his first month in the role, used his initiative to keep a patient talking, arrange GP assistance and truly assist someone who was struggling. This desire to want to help others, has now secured him a position in University to train as a Paramedic and continue his career within WAST helping the patients in Wales. We are very lucky to have him.

4. Gerwyn Thomas (NEPTS - Ystradgynlais)

Gerwyn is a good listener and is always there for his team.

5. Heather George (Locality Admin Assistant - Swansea)

Heather, no matter how busy she is , always stops her work to acknowledge you with a beautiful big smile - also her photo of her gorgeous dog, Ted, sits proudly on her desk and is a great therapeutic vibe in the office. Heather listens to all our moans, groans and general chit chat, but what I love most about Heather is even on her days off, if she picks up on a low mood or comment on Facebook she will reach out and check in with you. If she hasn’t seen you in a while, even with the huge amount of staff coming through the door, to her you are an individual. Heather will make time to listen and with Heather you know that anything shared in confidence will remain confidential. Heather deserves an award for being a great listener - she has especially listened to me and supported me through many difficult and joyous times, and she happily shares beautiful Ted for everyone to swoon over. Heather is a valuable and credit to the locality and station. We have had many difficult and sad times and her smile and listening ear never falters. She doesn’t want validation from me or anyone else, Heather is Heather, simply a beautiful soul who is just there whenever, but she does deserve recognition and an award as everyone likes validation especially from their employer and employees. Good luck Heather, I’m willing you on but regardless you’re my winner.

6. Kirsty Harvey & Helen Jones (Call Handler, Swansea/ Call Handler Co-orindator, Swansea)

Kirsty Harvey has been there giving me support daily, helping me grieve, never giving up. Helen Jones my Call Handler Coordinator has been there for me beyond work, again helping me grieve. I've been supported out of work.

7. Laura Reed & Emily Gibbins (999 Call Handler/ MPDS Auditor)

In 2020, I came out as transgender. This was a difficult decision, as trans people continue to face discrimination and prejudice in the UK. There are two people in WAST who made coming out, and my transition in general, a much easier and comfortable experience - Laura and Emily. They were the first people in WAST to know about my transition, and instantly they couldn't have been more supportive. They learned my pronouns, modified their language and both learned and researched to be able to support me, something I certainly didn't expect but it meant the absolute world to me. At every stage they have listened to my worries and reassured me. They've shared their learning with others, helping to make WAST a safer space for transgender staff. When they ask me a question about my experience or the experience of transgender people as a whole, they truly listen and learn and put what they've learned into practice. This year, they even witnessed and signed my deed poll to change my name, because the impact they've had on me has completely altered my WAST experience. They are excellent examples of what true allyship looks like, and should act as an inspiration to anyone in WAST who wants to support and listen to their LGBT+ colleagues.

8. Leanne Hawker (Head of Patient Experience & Community Involvement)

I've worked with Leanne for over 20 years and, whilst we've gone through many hairstyles and life experiences, one thing that has not changed is Leanne's ability to listen and be there for the Patient Experience and Community Involvement (PECI) Team. Whilst Leanne may sometimes portray a tough exterior to some colleagues (which is misconstrued as passion and determination), whenever any of the team need to speak to Leanne about personal matters, she will always make time and support us in whatever we need both personally and professionally. Over the last two years, the team has experienced many things including divorces, deaths and illnesses, however when she offers support she does it in a meaningful, genuine and constructive way that allows us to continue to fulfill our role, knowing we have her full support with zero pressure. She also does it because she wants to, not because 'it's the right thing to do as a manager'. Leanne's listening ear also lends itself to the work she does as the Head of the PECI team. Her dedication and commitment is infectious and her listening ear and drive to support the work of PECI, and support service improvement for the public, e.g. supporting Carers, has become even more powerful and meaningful with the recent announcement of her husband being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and Leanne herself becoming a Carer. That aside, she will continue to make time for you. I know it's been hard for us all, especially Leanne, not being in the same office and to offer each other that listening ear and immediate face to face support -don't get me wrong Leanne is not a hugger! - but with everything that's going on in her own personal life she still makes time and supports us virtually, supporting us with her words of comfort and advice, which always makes sense. Even sending the whole PECI team Greggs gift cards on the anniversary of the first lockdown and on the Directorate virtual time-out day, is what she is about. Those little gestures that come with no hidden agenda is just something she does quietly to keep the team together and show her appreciation. I know Leanne has also been a listening ear for many other colleagues across the Trust over many years. Whilst I know Leanne will be mortified for this nomination, I just want to personally say thank you to her from me and on behalf of the PECI team for being that trusting listening ear.

9. Nerys Cook (Nurse Advisor - Thanet House, Swansea)

Nerys always goes above and beyond for her patients whilst in her role in nurse triage. She never fails to put even the most anxious callers at ease and is always empathetic and compassionate with them. Nerys is also an amazing source of support to her colleagues when needing support on a call or when she is advising on the CALM line and if one of her colleagues has a particularly hard call, Nerys will either call them or go and make sure they are okay after the call has ended.

10. Sallie Jones (Duty Operations Manager - Bronllys Station)

I would like to nominate Sallie Jones for recognition by award for her commitment to staff welfare, operational problem solving and general wellbeing of staff. Sallie is always approachable, even when off duty to help and support staff with problems both personally and operationally. Sallie set up a fundraising page for our paramedic colleague who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has raised an incredible 11k towards the funding of potentially life-saving treatment. Sallie is “like a mother” to all staff, solving and helping with many issues which would probably be overlooked otherwise - this goes a long way on the road and for staff like Sallie, it’s a vocation not just a job. I admire Sallie’s commitment and her ability to balance home and work life and I feel it should be recognised within WAST. We would be lost in South Powys without Sallie, she is a credit to the ambulance service.

Sallie is the most caring and empathetic Duty Operations Manager that anybody can wish for who genuinely cares for her staff.

11. Susannah Jenkins (111 Nurse Advisor - Thanet House)

Throughout the last year, while things have sometimes been difficult, Susannah has been a great listener. She is an excellent support to her colleagues, always with a motivational word or two. Susannah is also very keen on improving the wellbeing of staff and is a great advocate of others. She is passionate about improving the perception of the 111 service amongst others. I cannot think af anyone more deserving of this award.

Susannah is an excellent Nurse Adviser who always puts patients’ needs first. This often means going the extra mile by working additional hours to support the service in times of need. Susannah also supports her colleagues by providing a mentoring support role when requested. Susannah is particularly passionate about staff wellbeing and welfare, this has been particularly evident during the last 18 months with unprecedented stresses and strains on staff, both at work and personally, during the Covid crisis. Susannah always tries to spread cheer and positivity in the workplace by lending an ear to colleagues and she is always trying to boost morale. She is also involved in a work fundraising group, raising money for charities. Susannah has also recently started a weigh in group at work in order to help staff adopt and maintain healthy behaviours.

North Wales Region

1. Carol Archer (Management Accountant - Ty Elwy, North Wales) 

I have nominated Carol every year now, as she is the reason I am where I am today. Carol has been the epitome of what a kind and caring person should be, and she is always there to listen to anything that may be concerning me, or just to let me rant to her. There have been times when I feel so down and low due to my PTSD, and sometimes I've been very anxious and upset. I know I can always ring Carol and she will listen, nonjudgmental, and will always try and bring me back to earth. I don't know what I would have done without her, especially during these last few years.

2. Joanne Baxter (111 Call Handler - Bangor)

I lost my husband in February to Covid. Whilst he was in hospital, Joanne was a great support and when my husband passed, she was an even bigger support. Myself and the children also had Covid but managed to stay home. Joanne really went above and beyond. I am truly blessed to be on her team. It's the little things like Joanne arranged Sunday lunch to be delivered to myself and the children on Mother’s Day. Then, as I was thinking of returning to work my father was diagnosed with palliative cancer, so I am taking him for treatment. The cancer unit almost backs onto 111, so I would go there for a cup of tea and a catch up as well as the welfare side of it. If dad's treatment goes well, I plan on returning to work in September until I need to help with end-of-life care. I’ve never felt a pressure to return and Joanne has said we can work out a plan for when I do. Throughout all this I really do not think I would have coped so well without this wonderful woman. Not just when she is in work, but also personal phone calls and texts. Joanne really is one in a million and means every word she says. She is going to kill me for writing this but she really does deserve the recognition!

South East Region

1. Adrian Dalton (NEPTS Call Taking Quality Assurance Facilitator)

Adrian was employed as Quality Facilitator within NEPTS at the beginning of last year and he has worked hard to develop some great tools to ensure the service users get the same great service no matter who they speak to. It's not his work as Quality Facilitator that I am nominating him for, it's his versatility to be able to adapt to any situation. In the last year, Adrian has been involved in many projects not relating to his role and he has been asked to complete tasks he has never done before such as coding the new PNA. He never complains and just gets on with the task at hand. I personally have found a great colleague and friend in Adrian. He has been there to support me since I started as NET Centre Team Leader, he has ensured I had the skills needed to do my job and he is constantly checking in on mine and the other team leaders' wellbeing because we have had many changes and upsets as a team to deal with in the last year. I think Adrian is a great asset to the team and should be recognised as such.

2. Bronwen Skyrme & Liam Masurier (Call Handler/ Call Handler Co-ordinator)

Bronwen Skyrme and Liam Masurier have both made a massive difference since I have started my job. They are both extremely supportive and always help out if I need it. They show extreme generosity and go above and beyond in their job.

3. Carolyn Lewis (Wellbeing Facilitator)

Carolyn has been amazing in her support of me over what feels like forever, but is just 10 months of this COVID period. I have battled enormously with my emotions and stress levels during this time and Carolyn has heard me rant, laugh and cry. She is always so friendly and upbeat when you speak with her and she always offers positive advice or an antidote that relates to my situation and makes me chuckle. She has signposted me to the correct avenues to get help and is still there as my ongoing supporter, now often just listening and letting me vent. I really believe she deserves recognition for her genuine kindness and warm, caring manner which comes across over the phone. I can imagine she has helped numerous staff along with me and I would like to nominate her to express my thanks.

4. Dylan Parry (Violence & Aggression Lead)

As the Violence and Aggression Lead, Dylan has helped and supported me when I was assaulted two years ago by an individual whilst I was on duty. Dylan still contacts me to this day to check up on me. He listens to me rant, he puts me at ease and he let me know every stage of the judicial process leading to the conviction and sentencing of this individual. Dylan works so hard for this service and he deserves this award wholeheartedly.

5. Jayne Aubrey (Senior Clinical Advisor)

Jayne is a colleague who the team talk of as someone who makes herself open and available to all her colleagues to listen, provide advice, support and guidance. She represents a role model - the very definition of experience. Through her listening and mentorship, she is growing those around her to be the very best versions of themselves they can be for colleagues and patients alike.

6. Kayleigh Donaldson (Call Handler Supervisor)

Kayleigh has been a brilliant supervisor from the beginning. She will go out of her way to help others and has time for everyone. She makes an effort to listen and pass on any concerns or ideas. She will know if you have been affected by a call without you having to say anything and she will always make sure you are okay and talk through any issues with you. She brightens up the shift and is extremely supportive and helpful.

7. Kerry Burrows (Duty Control Manager)

I worked in WAST for over 20 years and for the most part worked with Kerry. Whatever role she undertook it was always with grace and with a lot of time for her colleagues. She was the one person who you could go to and felt that she not only listened to you but would help wherever she could. She was an amazing help when I lost my mother and nephew, standing alongside me and helped me throughout it all.

8. Laura Livall (Clinical Contact Centre Dispatcher)

Laura always listens to the crews and allows us time after traumatic jobs. Laura actually listens to us and understands our stressful job and what we have to face on the road.

9. Roberto Maestri (NEPTS Operational Team Leader)

I know I speak for a lot of individuals working within WAST who will go and visit Roberto with any issues that occur. Whether it be in the office or on the road, he is always at the end of the phone or available at his desk in The Grange Station, Cwmbran. I for one have had issues which have occurred within work and he listens to the problems I have, as well as others. Not only does he have a good ear, he processes the details we have give him and either feeds back with suggestions, or he investigates issues personally. Roberto is always open and honest with his opinions, which everyone welcomes. There is not a day within the station that Roberto is unhappy. He obviously thrives in his job and I think that shows with the work he produces and the support he shows for fellow WAST colleagues.

10. Stefan Cartwright (EMT - Bassaleg)

After going through some quite difficult personal and professional situations, Stef was always there to help me make sense when I was struggling to see any light ahead. He got me through what has been the toughest year of my career and I am a much better person and Paramedic for it. He’s also selfless and will endeavour to help anyone he can through his volunteering with TASC. No task is too big or too small - he will always work hard to ensure others are cared for before himself.