Family of volunteers recognised in awards

16 January 2024

A family of volunteers, who collectively gave almost 2,000 hours of their time in the past three years in support of the Royal Free Charity, had their contribution recognised at a national award ceremony on Sunday.

Sisters Barbara Edwards and Bevely Rosenblatt and Beverly’s husband Stuart were finalists in the outstanding contribution award at the JVN (Jewish Volunteer Network) Celebration of Volunteering awards.

The prestigious awards celebrate excellence across the Jewish community and the wider charity sector.

Speaking after the event, Barbara said: “I felt so honoured to represent the Royal Free Charity at the awards. It was so special. Everyone should volunteer: you get so much more out of it than you put in.”

Jon Spiers, chief executive of the Royal Free Charity, said: “Our volunteers are the heartbeat of our hospital community, embodying compassion and selflessness. Beverly, Stuart and Barbara exemplify this spirit, spending their retirement to benefit others by providing comfort, support, and practical assistance.”

About Beverly

Beverly began her volunteering with the Royal Free Charity in 2017.

Beverly has one of the most challenging volunteer roles at the Royal Free Hospital, supporting the adult assessment unit (AAU) twice a week.

The AAU provides rapid access to medical pathways for acute and elderly patients once they have been through the emergency department. Patients may have dementia or be very confused. There are no windows in the AAU and it is always busy.

Beverly talks with patients and calms those who might be anxious or distressed; she helps the housekeeper with her tasks and provides refreshments to the patients.

She visits the unit twice a week, for up to seven hours each time.

Beverly was also previously part of the charity’s volunteer knitting group, knitting tiny baby clothes and toys for premature babies and knitted breasts to assist infant feeding training.


About Stuart

Beverly’s husband Stuart became a Royal Free Charity volunteer at the same time as Beverly in 2017. He is a regular volunteer on the Royal Free Hospital’s respiratory ward (8E) and is very much part of their team. He helps the staff and supports and chats to the patients.

Everyone knows Stuart as he is so cheerful.  He has been invaluable at helping to train other and younger volunteers while they shadow him and learn to be confident ward support volunteers.  He is always willing to help the charity and other volunteers in any way.



About Barbara

Barbara was introduced to the Royal Free Charity by her siter Beverly in 2020 after she retired from her social worker career shortly before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Barbara joined the volunteer team initially to support the Royal Free London’s vaccination programme.

Barbara has since been a ward support volunteer with the Royal Free Hospital’s cardiac care unit as well as a book trolley volunteer, taking the charity’s mobile library to patients.

Barbara has recently taken on a new role supporting the hospital’s emergency department. She focuses on guiding patients to the right department, providing reassurance to those waiting, and offering a comforting presence to patients who just want to talk.

The role was created by the charity as part of an intensive programme of support for the Royal Free London’s emergency services, which includes a fundraising appeal.

All three volunteers support and train new volunteers and show outstanding commitment to the RFC and hospital.

Lead photo: Volunteers Barbara and Beverly at the Royal Free Hospital