Queen gives medal to Maris

Maris Codling BEM SUS-140618-164219001
Maris Codling BEM SUS-140618-164219001

Staff at East Surrey Hospital have been congratulating one of their own who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Maris Codling, from Horley, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the hospital’s patients and the community.

Maris, who has worked at the hospital for 13 years, described her experience as “surreal” while Michael Wilson, chief executive at the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said he was “over the moon” for her.

The honour was given in recognition of Maris’ work as manager of voluntary services, where she organises a 200-strong team of volunteers.

She said: “It is all a very surreal.

“My focus has always been on improving the experience for patients, staff and visitors.

“I feel honoured to be recognised in this way and am accepting this award on behalf of all of the volunteers here because they are the people that do the hard work.”

Mr Wilson added: “Congratulations Maris, on behalf of all of your colleagues, I’d like to express how very proud we are of you.

“I am over the moon that your work has been recognised in this way – it’s fantastic for you and our Trust, as well as all of the volunteers that you support.”

The work carried out by Maris’s army of volunteers ranges from organising activities and services for patients and hospital users, including the help and information desks, Friends Shops and Red Cross Therapeutic Care.

They also man the hospital radio and the various hospital trollies.

Among the more skilled volunteer roles are the administration assistants, ward assistants and clinic assistants.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The award is well deserved recognition of Maris’s work with the trust’s 200 strong team of volunteers – a group who play such an important role in so many areas of the trust.”

Maris’s BEM is the third honour bestowed on the trust staff by the Queen so far this year.

In the January New Years’ Honours, surgeon Abhay Rane, was awarded an OBE for services to laparoscopic surgery.

A few weeks ago, Anthea Knight, laundry manager, went through a competitive selection process and was asked to attend the Queen’s Summer garden party at Buckingham Palace.

A spokesman said: “Anthea has worked at East Surrey Hospital for 44 years and very much deserved this opportunity.”