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Ambulance teams celebrate heroic staff awards

The heroic and tireless efforts of staff and volunteers to deliver outstanding patient care have been recognised at a South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWASFT) awards ceremony.

The annual staff awards acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond expectations and the dedicated service of long-standing members of staff. 

The guest speaker at the awards was Karen with her husband Trevor Filer who told their moving story of when he suffered a cardiac arrest and was saved by the quick actions of the emergency teams. 

Around 115 SWASFT staff and volunteers, and members of the public, who played vital roles in responding to emergency situations came together for the event at Swindon Village on Friday 8 November (see images attached for use)  

SWASFT Chief Executive, Ken Wenman, said: “3,000 times a day, within the largest ambulance service in England, our people are saving lives, reducing peoples’ suffering and pain, and dealing with the social and mental health needs of our communities. I am personally thankful to them all.”

Among those many staff who were recognised for being exceptional were:

Leadership Award – Jane Whichello, Wiltshire Deputy County Commander

  • Jane Whichello, Wiltshire Deputy County Commander, was given the Leadership Award and joined the ambulance service in 2008 after spending many years in Corporate business (roles in British Gas).  Jane said she was wanting to change her career and find something more worthwhile; “Working for the ambulance service is a privilege – no two days are ever the same, we get to see a window on peoples’ lives often at their most vulnerable time and try to make it a little easier, and I get to work with a fantastic and talented group of people who really do go above and beyond every day.”

jane and ken

Celebrating Diversity Award – Sharifa Hashem, Patient Engagement Manager

  • Sharifa Hashem, Patient Engagement Manager, won the Celebrating Diversity Award – Sharifa said; “I am humbled and pleased to have won the Trust’s Celebrating Diversity award in recognition of my work on improving diversity and inclusion with South Western Ambulance Service. The Trust recognised the need for a comprehensive work plan to ensure a more inclusive culture and better representation at all levels. It truly takes a village for a culture change to take place so thank you to everyone who has actively supported diversity and inclusion. This is a marathon and not a sprint and I’m looking forward to seeing further results from this work stream."

Sharifa and Ken

Long Service Award – for 40 years’ dedicated service to his community – Philip Green Paramedic, Wiltshire  (image at top)

  • Wiltshire Paramedic Philip Green was awarded the 40 year long service award.  Philip said :  “I love my job, no two days are the same, every day is different and the variety and challenges we face make this role unique. The people I work with help to make the role so special and it’s great to work with such amazing people.”   Philip Green started with the Trust in 1979, what was then known as the Wiltshire Ambulance Service as a Community Care Assistant and driver. He wasn’t in that role more than three months before he was asked to work on the frontline and became an ambulance technician. By 1983 Philip had worked his way up to being a clinically trained paramedic. Throughout his 40 years of service he has seen many changes, the biggest of which is the improved care and treatment patients receive, including the number of drugs patients can be given before arriving at hospital as well as the ability to pre-alert a hospital so they are ready to treat patients quickly and efficiently on arrival. In 1991 he was selected to be part of the first Wiltshire Air Ambulance team and now works as a Paramedic at Malmesbury station.