Vote now for “Incredible” St Raphael’s Hospice manager

A manager from St Raphael’s Hospice in Cheam is in the running for a prestigious national award.Paula di Palma, who stepped up to lead the housekeeping team when Covid struck, is a finalist in the 2024 Our Health Heroes Awards, delivered by Skills for Health.
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Colleagues from the much-loved hospice, which provides vital end of life care for people living in Merton and Sutton, nominated Paula for going the extra mile for patients and volunteers and always making them feel special.

“She knows every patient, family member, volunteer and colleague on first name terms," says St Raphael’s CEO Nick Stevens.

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“She treats everyone the same, always with a smile and a genuine interest in who they are.”

Paula Di Palma. Credit: St Raphael’s HospicePaula Di Palma. Credit: St Raphael’s Hospice
Paula Di Palma. Credit: St Raphael’s Hospice

"Paula is an incredible person. She creates special occasions for our patients and those important to them to meet their specific needs often at short notice. I feel privileged to be her colleague," adds Ginny Toubal, Volunteer Services Lead.

Paula recently arranged a pizza party for a young patient whose family lived all around the world, as well as a last date night for an elderly couple the hospice was caring for. Every year, Paula comes into the Hospice on Christmas Day to cook and give presents to patients and goes out of her way to celebrate special occasions such as patients’ birthdays.

“Working in a hospice can have its tough days, but Paula is ‘a ray of sunshine’ for everyone here.” saysRóisín Yin-Poole, Wellbeing Services Lead.

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"She makes us all feel special in her own little way. I remember walking into my office on a cold and dark December morning last year to find a small fibre optic Christmas tree placed on my desk. It made me smile and feel so much warmth and straight away I knew it was Paula. These are really small acts of kindness, but they make a huge difference and help to make the Hospice feel like a special place to be."

To show support for Paula and vote for her to win the award, votes can be cast here until 11 March 2024: https://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/awards/vote-operational/

The Skills for Health Our Health Heroes Awards is sponsored by NHS England, NHS Employers, NHS Shared Business Services and more. Gold, silver and bronze Operational Support Worker of the Year award winners will be announced at a special ceremony held in London on 16th April.