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You Made a Difference - January 2023

An extremely kind and caring contact centre shift leader with the best sense of humour, and a deputy chaplain who brings her expertise and stillness of presence to complex pastoral and spiritual situations, are the winners of January’s You Made a Difference awards.

Jo Barnett, contact centre shift leader
Jo Barnett, contact centre shift leader

Jo began her career at CUH in 2009 when she joined the contact centre team as an agent. After nine years, Jo was promoted to her current role as contact centre shift leader, leading and supporting the team on a daily basis.

A well-loved colleague in the department, Jo is extremely kind and caring with the best sense of humour. Having worked on the phones as a contact centre agent herself, Jo has a real understanding of the challenges the team face, and is able to provide a fantastic level of support to everyone.

Jo has a passion for making a difference which she demonstrates often. She organises many activities for team celebration days that agents remember and talk about long after the event.

A huge fan of the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, Jo brings the glitz and glamour of the show to the office each year and organises the office sweepstake!

All in all, Jo contributes so much to ensure that the contact centre is truly a great place to work.

Joanna Barnett with her team collecting her YMAD award

An extract from Jo’s nomination said:

“Jo recently made a huge difference to one of our well-loved colleagues in the department who has been living and dealing with cancer, which has understandably been tough for them and their family, especially over Christmas.

“Jo came up with an idea to raise money for our colleague by organising a raffle within the contact centre and asked colleagues in the department for donations. Jo then used the money raised to buy our colleague a homemade hamper with lots of goodies inside for them and their family.

“Overall, a staggering sum was raised, so not only could we give our colleague the gifts, but we could make a difference by giving them the rest of the money raised in cash to help towards their bills.“

Jo was instrumental in organising the raffle and buying the gifts for our colleague. She even took the time to give the gifts to our colleague on Christmas day so they had presents to open. This has made a huge difference to our colleague who was extremely grateful.

Ged McHale, deputy chaplain
Ged McHale, deputy chaplain

Ged has been deputy lead chaplain since October 2021, but has been in the department for over 10 years, originally starting as a volunteer. Over the years, Ged has been involved in direct patient care, bringing her expertise and stillness of presence to complex pastoral and spiritual situations.

Ged has played an instrumental role within the Chaplaincy and as deputy lead chaplain Ged has flourished in enabling the team to deliver care for patients, families and staff.

Dear to Ged’s heart has been the sustainability of our practice and also the contribution of volunteers. Since the covid pandemic when volunteers were unable to be onsite, Ged has overseen every detail of their return to Chaplaincy and also strengthened ways of working and supporting them. Key amongst these has been the volunteer’s course, which has seen a significant leap forward in the quality of training and confidence of volunteers at the conclusion of the training.

Ged’s quiet demeanour hides her passion for what is right, her commitment to developing the whole team and for gently but clearly bringing her influence to bear upon the team.

Ged is an enormous asset to CUH and the Chaplaincy.

This is reflected in extracts from Ged’s nomination which said:

“Ged has shown an outstanding commitment to the Trust values in her development and delivery of the Chaplaincy Volunteers course, their resilience and tenacity shone through.

“Ged developed a brand new 10 week volunteer course, and re-shaped the way we train with a greater emphasis on reflective learning. Ged demonstrated great leadership through involving the diversity of the Chaplaincy team, including established volunteers, to ensure a range of voices and examples were on offer.

“The course ran smoothly through the autumn of 2022 and was very highly rated by the attendees who praised aspects of the course that were a result of Ged's redesign. The fact that Ged delivered all of this in an exceptionally short time scale while also leading operationally and delivering multiple other streams of work is extraordinary.

“Ged has demonstrated a drive for excellence and a commitment to always doing together, leading to 15 new Chaplaincy volunteers who will provide around 30 hours a week of direct patient care.

“Ged is a credit to the Trust and to Chaplaincy.”

Her style of working with her natural ability to involve others, combined with a boldness in vision, ensures her impact always exceeds expectations.

Ged McHale, collecting her YMAD award
Clare O'Riordan