18th Dec, 2017

Solihull Together Awards: Local Hero Award 2017 Millie's story

Sarah Mason 6th Dec, 2017

FOLLOWING the launch last week of the 2018 Observer-supported Solihull Together Awards, we will be taking a look the award categories in more detail and sharing stories of the 2017 winners.

This week we are encouraging people to get nominating for the Local Hero award.

Sponsored and presented by the Solihull Observer, the Local Hero award celebrates Solihull’s unsung heroes.

It’s the award for an individual or small group of people who have had a big impact on the lives of family members, neighbours or their local community.

The award recognises Silhillians, such as carers or volunteers, who are working in a personal or voluntary capacity with vulnerable and frail adults in Solihull.

Sarah Mason, Deputy Editor of the Solihull Observer, which is proudly sponsoring and supporting the awards, said: “We are delighted to be involved, once again, with these fantastic awards which highlight and reward some truly inspirational people and work across the borough.

“I was blown away by the many wonderful stories we heard about during last year’s awards and hope to hear many more wonderful stories of help, kindness and going the extra mile again this year.”

Our 2017 Local Hero was Millie Skinner, former matron of Solihull Hospital and founder of the Friends of Solihull Hospital Association (FOSH). At the age of 103 – she recently celebrated her birthday – Millie continues to be an inspiration.

Millie’s story is a story of 63 years of dedication – dedication that saw her still heavily involved in her fundraising cause until she was well over one hundred years old.

Turn back the clock to 1953 when Millie was the matron at Solihull Hospital.

The hospital desperately needed a lift to move patients to the upper floors of the hospital.

The NHS was unable to fund the £9,000 needed, so Millie, undeterred and determined, decided that rather than sit back and moan she would step up and do something about it.

Millie, with the help of a handful of the hospital’s doctors and nurses decided to set up FOSH to raise the money for the lift themselves.

The association, under her guidance and leadership, was a huge success.

The £9,000 was subsequently raised and the lift was installed – to the delight and eternal gratitude of staff and patients at the hospital.

But Millie and the team didn’t stop there. In the decades that followed, she and the FOSH went on to raise a staggering £2million plus to fund vital equipment for the hospital.

Over the past 60 years Millie has held a number of positions with the Friends – including Chairman and President. Even at the age of 101, she was still involved in monthly meetings, promoting the Friends at every opportunity and even selling raffle tickets for the cause.

Her decision to set up the association all those years ago and to hit the fundraising trail to purchase the much-needed lift for the hospital not only changed the lives of patients and staff at the time, but also everyone who used and worked at the hospital in the following decades.

Having dedicated her life to caring for people – not only through her work, but in her spare time too – Millie Skinner, is the epitome of a local hero and a worthy winner of the 2017 Solihull Together Local Hero Award.

The Solihull Together Awards are an annual borough-wide celebration of outstanding care and support provided by residents, volunteers and professionals.

Now in their fourth year, the 2018 Awards recognise inspiring individuals and innovative teams who are working together to make life better for Solihull’s vulnerable and frail adults.

For more information about all the award categories and to submit an online nomination visit www.solihulltogether.co.uk/awards You can also find out more by following the Awards on Twitter @ST4BL.

The closing date for nominations is midday on Monday, January 29.

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