Sally, David and Jill with the Most Supportive Employer award.

NEAS wins employer award

The North East Ambulance Service has won an award for helping a member of staff through a family bereavement.

The Darcey’s Dream charity supports families who have suffered a bereavement and NEAS won the Most Supportive Employer Through Bereavement Award after being nominated by team leader David Miles who works in the service’s emergency operations centre.

David’s three year-old neice Evelyn Matthews suffered a cardiac arrest after being taken into hospital by ambulance. This was the start of a three-month battle in a paediatric Intensive care unit to save her life. Unfortunately she passed away at home in November last year, surrounded by her loved ones.

Nominating NEAS, David said:  “During her months long stay in PICU, I was given numerous days short notice leave and shift swaps so that I could not only spend time with Evelyn at hospital but also be there to support my sister Rachael during the endless meetings that took place to decide on Evelyn’s care as well as trying my best to be a good uncle to Evelyn’s six and 10 year-old sisters - Anna and Isabelle.

“Following Evelyn’s passing, my work ran a cake sale and countless dress down days over the busy Christmas period and raised over £1000 that went directly to Rachael and the girls. This was not only incredibly thoughtful but also practically useful as Evelyn’s dad John had had to give up his self-employed job as an electrical engineer to be with Evelyn. I was especially touched as the festive period is always the busiest time for the ambulance service and the extra effort that went into this.

“My colleagues also attended Evelyn’s funeral to support me as well as buying Christmas presents for Anna and Isabelle and presenting me with a beautiful glass plaque that has a picture of Evelyn and myself on it.”

The award was presented to David’s manager Jill Scott-Haynes and colleague Sally Oliver-Raine.  Jill said:  “We feel very proud and humble to be presented with this award, but it was the least we could do to help David and his family through such a unbelievably difficult time.

“All of David’s colleagues were determined to do all they could to make sure he was given the support he needed.”

For more details about the Darcey’s Dream charity go to:

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