Helpline Awards - Helpline Employee of the Year 2019

Annika Howard
Helpline Employee of the Year 2019 - Pat McBride, The Pituitary Foundation

We spoke to Pat McBride, winner of the 2019 Helpline Employee of the Year Award about what winning means and the work of The Pituitary Foundation.

First-hand experience

I’ve been most privileged to work for The Pituitary Foundation for the past 20 years.

As a pituitary patient from 1986, there was no source of support or information until The Foundation launched in 1994.

I became a volunteer for them in 1996, coordinating a Local Support Group. My role now is Head of Patient & Family Services, and one of my responsibilities is for our Helplines.

Growing demand for support

The volume of calls, emails and text we receive grows each year; to be able to support patients and their families and provide the information they want is incredible and wholly satisfying.

The isolation and many questions that pituitary patients can have, can be quite overwhelming for them. Our service provides that reassurance, comfort and care.

Being a member of Helplines Partnership

Helplines Partnership has been much a part of our Foundation Helplines service for many years – enabling us access to excellent training.

From ‘essential skills’ to ‘Safeguarding’, from ‘challenging callers’ to ‘digital skills’ - between our team here, we’ve benefited from their training immensely.

We use all we’ve learnt from HLP – it’s always a solid support behind us to offer the most appropriate services.

Valuing our volunteers

All our volunteers here are exceptional; our Helpline operator volunteers give 110% week in, week out.

Our Helplines simply couldn’t run without them. Patients wouldn’t receive this exceptional service without them.

Being nominated for a Helpline Award

When I heard that I’d been put forward for this award, I was quite shocked; it just didn’t feel right that I should have been put forward.

On the day of the awards, there were fantastic charities there, doing fantastic work – I know I’d have been happy for any of these good people to receive an award.

When my name was announced for the award, I truly wasn’t expecting it, but my thoughts hadn’t changed – this award wasn’t for me, it was for our Helpline team.

All of us do this work, all of us are part of a solid team that want exactly the same thing - the very best for our Helpline users.

Thank you very much for this award, which I was honoured to be able to take for our lovely team.

The Pituitary Foundation

The Pituitary Foundation is a national support and information organisation for pituitary patients, their families, friends and carers.

They are the UK's leading charity providing support to people affected by disorders of the pituitary gland such as Acromegaly, Cushing's, Prolactinoma, Diabetes Insipidus and Hypopituitarism.

You can find out more about The Pituitary Foundation and their work on their website.

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