Awards for volunteers who help those affected by cancer

Volunteer Dave Chessum, Bedford Hospital Chair Gordon Johns, BCAP Representative Rebecca Edwards.

Volunteer Dave Chessum, Bedford Hospital Chair Gordon Johns, BCAP Representative Rebecca Edwards.

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Two volunteers have been recognised by the national Macmillan awards for their commitment to supporting cancer patients.

Rebecca Edwards, on behalf of Bedford Cancer Action Partnership (BCAP), and HOPE course facilitator Dave Chessum were presented with awards by Bedford Hospital’s chairman Gordon Johns last Wednesday (September 2).

BCAP’s Rebecca Edwards received the Vicky Clement-Jones award, which is given to volunteers or groups who have or have had cancer who then make a difference to the lives of people currently affected.

The group works closely with Bedford Hospital, the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the East of England Strategic Clinical Network with commitments having included redesigning local chemotherapy information packs.

Bedford Hospital’s HOPE course facilitator Dave Chessum received the Deborah Hutton award for going above and beyond the expectations of his role.

The HOPE course is for cancer patients post treatment to help them set goals and return to ‘normal’ life.

Mr Chessum does all of the recruitment for the course whilst maintaining other volunteer roles within the hospital.

He said: “I can’t put into words how much it means to say that you have changed someone’s life.

“We do one-to-one personal care so that those who have been affected by cancer can get back to a meaningful life and this is something I’m very passionate about as it’s so important.

“It’s an absolute privilege to be here and to pick up this award.”

Bedford Hospital cancer lead manager Claire Holmes said: “I am very proud of what our volunteers have achieved.

“Patient engagement within cancer services is so important and these awards show what a difference both BCAP and Dave have made for current and future patients.

“It is a pleasure working with all of our volunteers; they all perform such a vital role.”