A Peterborough man who turned to volunteering at a care home after battling back to health following a brain haemorrhage has won a national award.
Rory Dunne, who volunteers at Longueville Court Care Home, in The Village, Orton Longueville, has been crowned the national winner in the Volunteer of the Year category at the 2019 Barchester Care Awards.
The awards celebrate staff and volunteers who go the extra mile for the benefit of residents and patients living in Barchester care homes and independent mental health hospitals.
Categories range from registered nurse of the year and carer of the year to maintenance champion and team of the year.
More than 1,900 nominations were received from colleagues in Barchester homes and hospitals across the UK.
After being shortlisted as one of four divisional winners, Rory was awarded the national prize, and was presented with the trophy and a £500 gift voucher by Barchester’s CEO Dr Pete Calveley.
Judge for the award, Sue Sheath, director of care, risk and compliance, said: “Rory volunteers at the home oneday per week and has been doing so for three years.
“He suffered a brain haemorrhage 10 years ago and after months of rehab had to learn to walk again twice! During his time in hospital Rory realised how easy it was to be lonely in a healthcare setting and this inspired him to start volunteering when he was well enough to do so.
“He now runs the weekly Scrabble group and helps with resident trips and fundraising events.”
Margery Dino, general manager at Longueville Court, said: “Our care home is like a family and Rory is a part of that family, loved and valued by everyone. It takes a special kind of person to give up so much of their time to help others and we are lucky to have such a fantastic volunteer.”
Rory said: “I have always been a naturally sociable person and enjoy being around other people. After my brain haemorrhage I realised that there may be other people who wanted company/friendship as much as I did which is why I decided to volunteer at Longueville Court.
“Since then I have made many new friends and really enjoy making a difference to the residents’ lives.”
Head of activities at the home Jessica Porter added: “Rory’s really upbeat personality makes our residents’ smiles even bigger.
“Rory has been a joy to meet and get to know.”