Earlier today colleagues and friends gathered in the Derriford Centre for Health and Wellbeing, to celebrate with Vera Mitchell MBE and Carole Burgoyne MBE, on their recent appointment as Members of the British Empire.
Vera, who has been volunteering at the Trust for more than 17 years and Carole, Plymouth City Council’s Strategic Director for People, were both recognised for their services by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, on Tuesday 12 December, at Buckingham Palace.
The informal event, held during a break in the Trust’s board meeting and open to staff across the organisation, was organised by Vera, “with love, thankfulness and gratitude for the life saving, life giving, life changing and life enhancing care given to me for 20 years by the staff of Derriford Hospital.”
Richard Crompton, Chairman of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, led the informal speeches by firstly congratulating Carole on her honour.
“Carole is a very special visitor,” he told the room. “She has been and continues to be a great servant of the city and a great friend to the Trust. It is fantastic to have you here today. Your honour is well deserved.”
Carole was recognised for her services to children and young people, after serving nearly 40 years in local government, in roles covering many areas of the City Council’s work and playing a central role in the transformation of Council services and improvements in performance.
The Chairman then shone the spotlight on our Vera, recognised for her services to NHS patients in Plymouth.
“Everybody in the room has been privileged to know and to work with you,” Richard addressed Vera. “Hundreds and hundreds of people in the Trust would say the same and, I know hundreds of patients would also like to say that, either because they know you personally or they know you as the lady who brought them a lovely cup of tea at their time of most need.”
There were agreeing murmurs in the room as he continued: “I think Vera you are rightly described as the heart of Derriford Hospital and your contribution has been amazing and continues to be amazing. To see you honoured in this way was a tremendous joy to everybody; we’re really proud of you.”
“It is a huge honour for me to be associated with Derriford, it’s also a huge privilege,” expressed Vera. It’s Derriford that has enabled me to be the person I am today and for that I truly thank every single member of staff who has been part of this organisation for 20 years.”
Carole added: “I love working with Derriford Hospital and all the staff and I’ve got a lot of friends amongst you. I want to say something about this special lady – I think I’ve found a real friend. We had a fantastic day together and it was really special.”
To read more about Vera’s time at the palace and some of the reasons behind her nomination, click here: http://bit.ly/VeraMitchell_MBE