Communications apprentice Katie Claydon who works at Barnsley Hospital was thrilled to win a national award celebrating the achievements of non-medical staff in the NHS.

Katie, 20, who lives in Worsbrough Road, Birdwell, won ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in the 2019 Unsung Hero Awards. She and her communication colleagues attended a black tie gala award evening for shortlisted nominees at the Hilton Hotel, Manchester, where the winners were announced on Friday (March 1).

Katie’s win was read out to cheers of excitement from her Barnsley colleagues as she beat off tough competition from apprentices from all over the country. She was described to the packed house as a ‘vital member of a small team – who always provides a fast, efficient response to the many requests received each day in a busy hospital.’

Her full nomination described how Katie goes over and above in her work supporting the Communications Team. For example, she created a ’12 Days of Christmas’ competition for staff and now singlehandedly manages it every year, sourcing thousands of pounds worth of prizes for hospital staff – from tickets to see football matches to hamper and paintballing prizes.

Katie, who has been working at the hospital for two and a half years, also launched the hospital’s ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ award scheme, a fun way for staff to show appreciation to their colleagues. For last year’s 70th anniversary of the NHS, she provided support for the Trust’s many corporate events. This included Barnsley Hospital Charity Fundraising events and promotion of the hospital membership scheme.

She supported staff at the hospital’s ‘Proud to be Good’ event by sourcing cakes and goodies for all clinical and non clinical areas in the Trust, to say thank you for helping get the Trust’s ‘Good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Katie is studying a qualification at Barnsley College as part of the hospital’s apprenticeship programme. She is due to qualify in April. She said after the award:

“I am still in absolute shock that I took home the Apprentice of the Year Award. I would like to say a massive thank you to all my colleagues, both past and present for their support over the last two years to get me to where I am now.

“I usually attend award events as an organiser or a guest, but to attend as a nominee was such a fantastic experience, one I will never forget. I have almost completed my Level 3 qualification and I hope to continue working in communications within the NHS for a very long time. Barnsley Hospital has been very supportive to all my personal development needs and the apprenticeship programme is excellent. I would definitely recommend it.”