National honour for Luton and Dunstable Hospital volunteer

Eileen McMahon won the Lifetime Service Award
Eileen McMahon won the Lifetime Service Award

A volunteer for the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital has won a national honour to recognise her contribution to the NHS.

Eileen McMahon, who has worked for the hospital for 44 years, was named as the winner in the Lifetime Service category at the Unsung Hero Awards, the awards honour non-clinical NHS staff and volunteers.

Eileen with Karen the hospital's Voluntary Services manager

Eileen with Karen the hospital's Voluntary Services manager

Winners were selected by a judging panel which included NHS leaders and influential figures from the Health Service.

Eileen offers NHS skin camouflage treatment for patients who suffer from debilitating skin conditions, disfigurement, or scarring. She said: “I feel so humbled to have won this award considering how many amazing non-medical NHS workers and volunteers were nominated. I love working at the L&D and what I do makes it all worthwhile when it changes lives.

“I’m honoured to have the knowledge and experience to help vulnerable people. I have previously won the Queens’ Badge of Honour and BEM but this is the cherry on top!”

She was nominated by her colleague Karen Bush, who said: “Eileen is a wonderful lady - patient, empathetic, kind and caring. She works diligently with individuals, teaching them how to apply products to themselves. She truly empowers people to face the world with confidence. On behalf of patients, past, present and future, from L&D we cannot thank her enough.”

Unsung Hero Awards founder Don Tomlinson said: “Our fifth annual event was our biggest and best yet and we were able to honour some brilliant, inspiring members of NHS staff and volunteers for the amazing work they have done.

“Everyone who won an award - and all those shortlisted - show each and every day the qualities and excellence which make our Health Service the best in the world.

“It has been an honour to be able to shine some light on the great contributions they have made.”