A former manager of a patient and family support team who now supports the care of patients with dementia at the Royal Free Hospital has been shortlisted for a national award.

Evelyn Blumenthal, a Royal Free Charity volunteer, has been shortlisted in the volunteer of the year category of the Helpforce Champions Awards 2022 in recognition of her fantastic contribution to supporting vulnerable patients.


The awards are a chance to shine a light on those who give their time to help staff in the NHS and voluntary and community organisations, and support patients and their families and carers.

Since retiring from managing a hospice, Evelyn has devoted her time to supporting the charity’s dementia companionship volunteer programme. She has also trained volunteers and taught them the skills to visit patients with dementia or who are elderly and vulnerable to ensure they feel secure and stimulated during a hospital stay.

Evelyn also volunteers for the charity’s support hub, which supports patients with long term health conditions. In this role, she took part in a programme to tackle patient loneliness and isolation during periods of lockdown; this involved making regular phone calls to a vulnerable patient to offer a listening ear and signpost the patient to additional help when necessary.

Mark Lever, chief executive of Helpforce, said: 2020 and 2021 have seen the NHS and all our healthcare services face one of the biggest challenges in their history, and we have seen volunteers step up in their thousands to help.

“This year, we have received a record number of entries for the Helpforce Champions Awards with so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the health and care sector in the UK.

“We want to thank everyone for taking the time to recognise the volunteers and send our congratulations to those who have been shortlisted and we’d like to wish them the best of luck.”

Winners will be announced on Helpforce’s website and social media channels on 7th November.

The categories being celebrated at the awards are:

  • Outstanding Volunteering Team of the Year
  • Volunteer to Career: Volunteer of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England
  • Volunteer Manager of the Year
  • Outstanding Staff Champion for Volunteers
  • Health Leader Champion for Volunteering
  • Breaking down Barriers Award



Notes to editors

The Royal Free Charity is an NHS charity supporting the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Its vision is for everyone served by the Royal Free London to have access to world-leading healthcare, delivered by a thriving workforce and driven by medical research that has a global impact. The charity delivers services and grant funding at Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals, all of which is made possible thanks to the generosity of supporters.

Helpforce partners with health and care organisations across the UK to accelerate the growth and impact of volunteering. It is an independent not-for-profit innovator, focused on co-creation of volunteering projects with NHS Trusts and systems, and rapidly sharing insights and best practice.


For further information:

Eva Duffy
Head of Communications
Royal Free Charity
Mobile: 07398 701244
Email: [email protected]