When Robbie Graham stepped foot inside Hillsborough Football Stadium in Sheffield in April 1989 to support his beloved Liverpool FC in an FA Cup Semi-Final against Nottingham Forest, he had no clue that he was about to be involved in a major incident that would change his life forever.
Robbie left school and attended university where he studied Electrical Engineering – the incident at Hillsborough left him with injuries which meant he had to rebuild his life and find a new career-path.
After several years, Robbie was able to restart his education, attending college to study Health and Social Care. Robbie completed his studies, but due to his injuries sustained on that horrendous Hillsborough day he was unable to go into full-time employment, so he offered his services as a volunteer and joined a disabled charity.
In 2004, Robbie joined the NHS as a volunteer within the portering team at Ormskirk District General Hospital and for the last 18 years has worked four days a week assisting with several portering roles during his shift including delivering the post, helping his colleagues in X-Ray with transfers and helping the Pharmacy team.
This week, Robbie found out he is the winner of the Dennis Southern Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s National MyPorter Awards – in association with NHS England.
Robbie Graham said:
“It was great to win the award. It was really unexpected but very nice as well.’’
Robbie’s boss, Logistics & Portering Manager Terry Kelly, said:
“We couldn’t do without him. He is a valued member of our team and is selfless in his approach.
“He is the first to offer help to anyone and still enjoys his role as if it was his first day. He is a massive help within our team and his hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
“Greeting everyone he comes across with his cheery disposition, he is a great example to us all and one we should all respect and admire. He is a credit to himself and the Trust and is a pleasure to have on the team.”
Fiona Daly, National Deputy Director of Estates at NHS England, spoke at the awards event.
“Today’s event has been brilliant, recognising all the great work that is happening across the NHS with the portering services within Estates and Facilities.
“During times like the pandemic, the likes of the porters, the cleaners, the security guards – they kept the NHS going. They are the beating heart of NHS and it has been amazing to be here today recognising all of their efforts not just for during the pandemic, but now as we move towards a period of recovery”.
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