A MAN who began volunteering at a hospital after the death of his wife has spoken of the ‘honour’ of being nominated in the South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards Volunteer of the Year category.

Alan Hiatt from Cwmbran volunteers at Hafan Deg ward at the Ty Sirol unit at the County Hospital in Griffithstown.

He began volunteering after the death of his wife, and she was cared for at the hospital.

Following her death Dawn Morgan, senior nurse for Torfaen older adult services, asked him to come and volunteer at the hospital.

He will sit with patients and do activities and to talk to families to help them understand what is happening.

He also has raised in the region of £10,000 for the unit. He is currently working on an ongoing gardening project which he is fundraising for.

He said: “I’m a bit surprised and it’s a big honour to be nominated. I do it because I enjoy it, not for awards, I like to help the staff who were very good to us. It is nice to be recognised.

“The staff do a very difficult job and I can’t speak highly enough about the staff there. They have accepted me as one of their own.”

In the nomination Mr Hiatt was commended for committing his personal time to improving the patient experience during their inpatient stay at the unit.

Mrs Morgan said: “He’s such an asset. His dedication is well received by patients, families and staff, and his friendly, happy attitude has a huge impact within care delivery to individuals.

“His enthusiasm and commitment energises some of the patients to engage in activities.

“He creates a positive welcoming and therapeutic environment.”

Nominations are still open for the first ever South Wales Argus Health and Care Awards.

You can nominate people or organisations in the 15 award categories.

The closing date for entries has now been extended to September 1 with winners to be announced at a special presentation event at Chepstow Racecourse on October 19.

To nominate or find out more visit southwalesargus.co.uk/healthandcareawards.