Better Care

Trust volunteer honoured with British Empire Medal

Bob Hunt BEM
Patient Jean Jarvis with honoured volunteer Bob Hunt and his dog Ludo

One of the Trust’s loyal volunteers has been awarded the British Empire Medal in Queen’s New Years Honours list for his services to the community.

Bob Hunt, a retired school teacher at Kings Edwards School in Camp Hill, has been volunteering with the Trust for four years and has become a familiar and much-loved face amongst patients at Moseley Hall Hospital.

“At the time I had no idea I was being put forward or who nominated me so I was amazed when I got the letter through,” said Bob. “I will be very pleased to accept it.”

The unusual element of Bob’s weekly visits is that he is accompanied by his canine companion Ludo, a 14-month-old French Bulldog.

Bob, from Kings Heath, said: “It’s great that the staff here recognise that interaction with animals is good for patient’s wellbeing. My previous dog Oscar used to accompany me on visits and after he died I wasn’t sure whether to get another dog, but I enjoy the company and Ludo has taken on Oscar’s role of entertaining the patients very effectively – he’s a real ladies man!”

Bob and Ludo visit animal-loving patients in ward 5 as well as making regular visits to the Sheldon Unit in Northfield.

Janette Bigford, from the patient experience lead team, said: “Bob and his dogs have helped to lift the spirits of so many of our patients over the years so I was delighted to hear that Bob had been awarded a British Empire Medal.”

Jean Jarvis (pictured), a patient on ward 5, said: “I’ve been in here for six weeks so have welcomed visits from Bob and Ludo. Given how long he has been volunteering for, it’s about time he got recognition for it!”

The British Empire Medal was founded in 1917 and after being stopped for several years, was reintroduced last year to acknowledge ordinary people serving the community as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Bob and other recipients of the British Empire Medal will be invited to a  Buckingham Palace garden party this summer to celebrate their achievements.