A community psychiatric nurse from the Priestley Unit in Dewsbury was among a group of NHS staff congratulated at special events held by South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.
Kelvin Sumpner, along with 34 others, received a certificate and gift vouchers in recognition of his 29 years of dedicated service. Between them, staff receiving awards had clocked up 900 years of service!
Kelvin started his working life as a painter and decorator but, at the age of 21, decided he wanted a change. His mother worked at Storthes Hall psychiatric hospital in Huddersfield and suggested Kelvin considered a job in healthcare. After a short stint as a nursing auxiliary, Kelvin began his nurse training and qualified in 1982. Since then he has worked in a variety of nursing roles across Kirklees and most recently joined the team at the Priestley Unit, Dewsbury as a community psychiatric nurse.
Speaking about his career, Kelvin said, "I’ve really enjoyed the last 30 years working for the NHS and can’t envisage myself doing anything else. When I first started working on a psychiatric ward all those years ago I was so nervous I was shaking too much to drink my cup of tea! But staff quickly made me feel welcome and I never looked back. I’ve seen some massive changes to the NHS since I first started nursing. Overall they have been good changes, benefiting people who need to use our services. I’m delighted to receive my long service award and look forward to continuing to help people who need NHS care."
Another amongst those receiving an award was Trust human resources director Alan Davis, who has been involved with awards scheme for several years. Alan said "The NHS is an excellent employer, and I’m proud to have worked here for 25 years. There’s a sense of community amongst NHS staff – there’s thousands of us and we’re all working for the same team."
Jan Wilson, acting chair, and Steven Michael, chief executive, presented the awards. Jan said, "This event is an opportunity for the Trust to thank staff for their remarkable contribution to the NHS. Their tireless commitment helps to improve the lives of so many local people with mental health problems and learning disabilities. It is a privilege to work with such hard working, dedicated people."