18 January 2019

Housekeeper and human dynamo, Amanda Piper, has been shortlisted for a national Unsung Hero Award. The Annual Unsung Hero Awards are the only National Awards for non-medical NHS staff and volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Her ‘Everyday Hero Award’ nomination was submitted by Tracy Connellan, Ward Manager on Sally Sherman Ward at East Ham Care Centre. She said,

I have worked as a mental health nurse for 20 years and have never met a staff member like Amanda. She has worked for the NHS for years as a Band 3 housekeeper and every day goes beyond the call of duty. Her kindness and commitment to the patients we care for is gold standard.“

Patients on the Sally Sherman Ward have dementia and often have challenging behaviour. Amanda’s calm and caring approach cuts through that ensuring that patients feel safe and calm.  She has arranged funerals when there is no family, buys clothes when patients come with nothing, and arranges parties and special treats.

Tracy goes on, “Her communication skills with our client group is amazing to watch. She is able to talk ‘their language’ despite the debilitating progression of dementia. She is our unsung hero quietly going about her job and going beyond the call of duty. We all say that we wish she would care for us when we grow old. She has a heart of gold.”

Amanda started out as a healthcare assistant in Goodmayes Hospital in 1986. She thought she would stay for a short period to see what the work was like – and she never left! She says, “I love my patients. It is really rewarding to work with this patient group and their families. I feel so comfortable with them. Their world is so confusing and alarming. My job is to ensure the smooth-running of the ward so that there are no surprises, that they have what they need delivered with a smile and kindness. When you make a connection, it is the best thing in the world. Who wouldn’t love this job.”

Shortlisted nominees have been invited to an exclusive ceremony in Manchester on 1 March where winners will be announced on the night.

Photograph: L-R Tracy Connellan and Amanda Piper