Unsung Hero finalists


Andi Blake, Senior Sister, Bramshott ward

Surprise picnic for patient

Andi is the very definition of dedicated, compassionate nursing. Quite simply, the care she provides is the gold standard.

There was a wonderful example of Andi’s holistic approach to nursing when she realised that a long-standing patient would not be discharged in time to celebrate her Sapphire Wedding Anniversary with her husband.

Knowing how disappointed the couple would be, Andi decorated a small private area within the ward and supplied a Marks and Spencer picnic supper for the couple to enjoy together. This lovely surprise was so typical of Andi.  When patients are due to go home, she will always check that they have food at home and that someone has warmed the house through in colder months.

Andi’s dedication to patient care both during their stay and beyond is often something that goes unrecognised but it really is the most tremendous example of pro-active compassionate nursing. She would be such a worthy winner of a Royal Surrey Star!


Kate Penhaligon, Acting Head of Research, Development and Innovations 

Revolutionising cancer care

Kate has played a pivotal role in promoting research and new treatments, particularly for cancer.

It is thanks to Kate’s dynamic and ‘never-give-up’ attitude that St Luke’s has opened studies for drugs which have revolutionised the management of advanced cancer. Very few other hospitals have these drugs.

She has also worked closely with the The Diagnostics and Clinical Services division Triumvirate to raise the profile of R&D by joining our monthly Divisional Governance Review to talk all things research and discuss upcoming trials to support “go live”. Kate has also worked with the Division to create a new Allied Health Professions or Doctor role that suits our workforce and opens opportunities to lead R&D up to wider professions.

Incredibly, Kate has done all this while still covering her previous role which has resulted in extremely long hours. She is often to be found at her desk at 7 or 8pm at night and frequently works weekends to help people achieve their research goals.

Kate is an inspirational figure.  She has worked tirelessly to hold the department while the head of R&D is on maternity leave. A fabulous employee, she is a shining light in promoting cutting edge innovation which has the potential to save so many lives.


John Armstrong, Manager of the RSCH Social Club

A ray of sunshine

Anyone who uses our social club will instantly recognise John Armstrong.

It’s no exaggeration to say that he is one of the most well-known and popular figures in the Royal Surrey community. Not only does he provide a warm welcome to all visitors, but he goes way beyond the call of duty to create a friendly, lively club where everyone feels at home as soon as they step through the doors.

Over the years, John has organised hundreds of retirement dos, and Christmas and leaving parties. The Club is also a great venue for Trust meetings.

He has a great sense of fun and is a constant support for all the RSCH staff and the many charities they support.  His lovely, cheerful personality has been a true ray of sunshine for many staff after they’ve finished a long and demanding shift.

A Royal Surrey Star award would be a great way to show just how much we appreciate everything that John does for us!

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