A DEDICATED volunteer at Warwick Hospital who has not missed a day in 31 years has no plans to stop anytime soon.
Miriam Relins, who is 85 years-old, has always worked in the health service, and since retiring in 1986 she has continued to help out voluntarily in the hospital’s League of Friends shop.
The mum-of-three even moved to sheltered housing nearby so she can be closer to the Lakin Road hospital – which she rides to each day on her mobility scooter.
To recognise her dedication to the service she was given the first ‘Chairman’s Special Award’ from hospital chairman Russell Hardy. The award was presented to Miriam at a recent board of directors meeting.
Miriam said: “I was not expecting anything like this. I really enjoy coming in to the hospital and keeping busy.
“I am totally committed to the League of Friends at Warwick Hospital who are providing money for equipment and the benefit of patients. I was asked when I would retire from this job and the answer was ‘when I stop breathing’.”
Each Christmas Miriam wraps 150 shoeboxes with festive paper and sells them in the hospital, with proceeds going to the League of Friends. The boxes are then filled with gifts and distributed by Samaritans.
She also knits items to sell in the shop and organises regular raffles.
Staff at the hospital say Miriam is ‘part of the furniture’ and she always makes them smile.
Miriam lifetime of devotion to the National Health Service began with training as a nurse at the Central Hospital in Hatton when she was 17. She qualified as a mental health nurse in 1953.
Having three young children and after losing her husband in 1970, Miriam took up working night shifts until retiring in 1986.
Mr Hardy, who gave Miriam the award, said: “I was delighted I could present the first award to someone who has shown such dedication and commitment to the hospital for the past 31 years. Miriam has not only devoted her time to the League of Friends but to so many great causes and she deserves high praise and our profound thanks for all of her hard work.
“Thank you on behalf of all the patients and staff who have been touched by your hard work.”
The hospital award is not Miriam’s first – she was named Citizen of the Year in 1991 and in 2004 was given the Meritorious Award by Warwick Rotary thanks to her fund raising for various causes.