Publish date: 24 February 2021

Selfless NHS hero scoops national portering award

A photograph of a man and two women. One of the women is holding a large bunch of flowers and an award.

A new national award-scheme recognising the work and dedication of NHS hospital porters has announced its first winner.

The MyPorter Awards recognise the work and dedication of NHS portering teams, who, like many NHS staff, have taken on extra responsibilities, worked additional shifts and gone the ‘extra-mile’ to help hospitals cope with the pressures of the Covid pandemic.

The awards attracted entries from across the UK, with many hospitals nominating more than one individual and, in some instances, entire teams.

The winner of the first MyPorter Awards for 2020 is Claire Blackhall, a Chargehand Porter at Wansbeck General Hospital, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She was awarded the accolade for her ability to perform her role with extraordinary humanity, listening to patients and helping wherever she could. On top of all her hard work, Claire is also training to become a volunteer coastguard – something she has chosen to do as a means of giving back to her local community. Tracey Smith, Hotel Service Officer Facilities for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, commented, “This is a fantastic achievement; I am immensely proud of Claire’s approach to work and the support she gives not only to our patients but to the wider team and staff at Wansbeck General Hospital.”

Claire wins the MyPorter Award 2020 trophy, and a donation of £250 will be made to Thrombosis UK on her behalf. A further £250 charity donation goes to the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity, ‘Bright Northumbria’

Claire’s story personifies putting the needs of others before their personal difficulties. The following notable entries, each deserving special mention, show just how difficult the judges found the job of choosing only one worthy winner.

Commenting on the reasons for introducing the awards, Richard Iveson of GlobalView, creators of MyPorter, explained, “Porters are often the unsung heroes of the NHS, and they put in a lot of gruelling hours of hard, physical and emotional work. If you took the porters out of a hospital, nothing would work; it would grind to a halt. They’re a vital cog in the machine for every hospital, none more so that during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wanted to create an opportunity for NHS Trusts to honour their porter heroes publicly.”