Ward manager celebrates 30 years as volunteer

An incredible 30 years of volunteering has been acknowledged with a ‘Platinum Champion Award’ which has been presented to Rachael Sloan, a Ward Manager in the Ulster Hospital.

Rachael has been going above and beyond in her spare time volunteering with St John Ambulance since she was just 11 years old.

The Platinum Champion Awards are a Jubilee project launched by The Royal Voluntary Service in honour of the Queen’s 70-year reign and to celebrate ‘extraordinary volunteers who go that extra mile to improve the lives of others.’

Rachael was awarded the ‘Platinum Champion Award’ for her incredible length of volunteering service with St John Ambulance, as well as her contribution and dedication to the role.

Ward Manager, Rachael Sloan in her St John Ambulance uniform

This is a huge accomplishment for Rachael, as only 490 recipients across the United Kingdom received this award and only fourteen recipients from Northern Ireland, one of which was Rachael.

Rachael received an invitation to attend the Oval Cricket Ground to be presented with her certificate by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

On receiving her award, Rachael said: ”I felt both humbled and honoured to find out that I had been nominated for the award, but even more so when it was confirmed that I was chosen as a recipient of the ‘Platinum Champion Award’.

“I have volunteered for over 30 years now and even though the role has come with its challenges, the good times have far out-weighed the bad times.

Ward Manager, Rachael Sloan

“I certainly could not do it without the support from my friends and family and they have accepted the sacrifices that come with the role, without them I could not continue.

“Volunteering for this length of time does not feel that long! I really enjoy the role and I get to work with others and experience new things. I love helping others in their time of need and I volunteer for these reasons not for the awards or recognition.

“I want to give a huge thank you to all volunteers who give up their time to help others, as well as to all volunteers across different organisations who do a fantastic job and make such a difference. Let’s all continue to ‘be the difference’ going forward.

“To be involved in such a historic event was a privilege and I hope I did both myself and the organisation proud.”

Despite the pressures nursing staff face every day, Rachael continues to help others in her spare time, dedicating a life to volunteering to help those most in need.