At the 2019 MTC Transforming Lives Awards, the Thames Valley CRC Community Payback team won the prestigious Collaborative Working Award. Speaking at the ceremony, manager Felicity Dunne said that it was ‘such a pleasure to celebrate the amazing work that goes on across the organisation.’
With their prize in vouchers, the Community Payback team were planning a half-day trip out to celebrate their win later in 2020. However, following the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team felt differently about how to spend their vouchers.
Donating to critical workers
Felicity Dunne had seen a call-out from Wexham Park Hospital in Slough. After long and tiring shifts, frontline NHS employees from the Emergency Assessment Centre and Intensive Care Units were going to supermarkets only to find the shelves were empty. The Hospital was asking for donations of food and toiletries to help them continue their vital work and the Community Payback team decided that they would rather donate their prize vouchers to help these – and other – teams of critical workers across the Thames Valley.
Providing £100 of Marks & Spencer food and toiletries, and £200 in vouchers, the team’s donations were taken by the Senior Sister on the Emergency Department. She was overwhelmed at the generosity, and told Felicity that one of her team was self-isolating with her two year old son who has leukaemia. Her son loves baked beans and she hadn’t been able to find any for over a week, so a parcel would be made up for her including those.
Generous and caring
The team have also given £100 to teachers at Lent Rise School in Burnham, South Bucks, to thank them for their dedication in offering schooling to the children of critical workers. They have since donated all the other vouchers from their prize to Wexham Park Hospital (Frimley Park Charity); Lent Rise School; Milton Keynes Foodbank; Oakridge School; Oxford Hospital Charity and Oxford Soup Kitchen.
Speaking of the team’s decision, Felicity says ‘it was really lovely to be able to do this on behalf of my team, who have proved yet again what generous and caring people they are. We all felt that this was the right thing to do, given the circumstances, and we’re grateful to have been able to do this.’
Head of Operations for the South of Thames Valley, Geoff Davis agreed, saying ‘I was not surprised to hear that this team were donating their award money to good causes at this time, as they are lovely, caring people. I’m proud to be working with them at this difficult and changing time, and I think their attitude represents all employees in Thames Valley CRC.’