Our Do Something Super campaign encourages local people to get involved in supporting their hospital through fundraising. And we’re always amazed by the superhero efforts that our supporters go to. Whether it’s baking a stunning Star Wars cake, running consecutive marathons, doing a sponsored walk or getting on their bikes to raise money, we are always astonished by their efforts.

This week we’re celebrating other types of heroes – our volunteers, and our staff here at North Bristol NHS Trust. We sponsor the quarterly hero awards for staff and this week the second batch of winners will be announced.  All are nominated by their work colleagues for going the extra mile in their job. Some of the stories are so touching they have the judges in tears. The winners are the Trust’s unsung heroes and we’re proud to recognise them.

At the end of National Volunteer Week it’s important to acknowledge volunteers.  Ours play a crucial role too in keeping the large hospital machinery oiled and running smoothly. The Move Makers here at Southmead Hospital help maintain the flow of visitors and patients through the buildings, and we also have a volunteer fundraiser here in the Charity helping us in countless ways, for which we’re grateful.

So, what does make a hero?  For me it’s someone who takes a bit of time, thought and effort to go beyond what’s expected.  I don’t mean you have to jump out of a plane to be a hero (although that does totally qualify for hero status); rather, you have to put others first.  That’s heroic.