Colleagues from our Leicestershire division were awarded for their many years of service and commitment to the patients in their communities last week.
The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Long Service and Reward and Recognition event took place at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre on Tuesday (10 January 2023) and celebrated colleagues who had amassed over 470 years of ambulance service between them.
The event included those who had reached their milestones of 20, 30 and 40 years of service over the past two years and was hosted by Divisional Director Susannah Ashton and Deputy Director of Operations David Williams. The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire Michael Kapur OBE also attended to present the awards.
On opening the event, Susannah said: "I'm so excited about today. This is one of the brilliant things about the ambulance service; recognising what you have done and are still doing. Today is about saying thank you, thank you to you for what you have done over many years of incredible service.
"I also want to say thank you to your families and your friends, who have also made sacrifices, with you not being there for birthdays or school sports days, because you've been looking after someone else's family member."
Dave added: "It's an honour and privilege to be here today with colleagues who have years and years of service. There are thousands of people out there who you have provided care to over the years who are still here because of you guys and everything you have done to support them in their hour of need."
"Don't underestimate the impact you have on others' lives. Thank so much for all you do."
Those being awarded had worked in many roles and have clearly given their all to the service; with some also volunteering in their free time, including working with their local communities to help them understand how to use the ambulance service or as community first responders helping save lives. There were also colleagues who have led the way for others, such as one of the first female paramedics in Leicestershire, and those have won awards for their approach to patient care, including a Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal recipient and one who has developed a mental health support initiative involving Newfoundland dogs.
Mr Kapur spoke at the end of the event and said: "It's been an absolute pleasure to share in these special moments for some very worthy individuals for their dedication to public service.
"The reason I think it's important for me to attend uniformed services events is based around the words of Her Majesty the Queen. She spoke about the fact that even when we're away from our loved ones, we're never really alone, because great people like you will step up to help. She spoke about the fact that even in our darkest hour there will always be hope and I think that on many occasions, hope is what you provide.
"We don't need to look on the screens for superheroes, our superheroes exist next to us, day in day out in our daily life, and they are in uniforms and some of those uniforms are here today. On behalf of the people of Leicester and Leicestershire, I'd like to say a very big thank you to all of you."