Martin Palmer, manager of the Children’s Burns Club based at Broomfield Hospital, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year’s Honours list.
The club supports children with burn injuries who may need long term treatment including skin grafts or repeated surgery and Martin has been a part of it since 1996, when he started out as a volunteer.
After 25 years with the charity, Martin’s commitment has been celebrated with a BEM.
He said: “It’s really humbling to receive this award and get such recognition, but really this is something for the whole Club and team of dedicated volunteers to be proud of.
“We have all made such a continued difference to the lives of children and their families who are part of the Children’s Burns Club. It’s like being part of one big family, and currently we support over 250 families across Essex and the London and South East area. Together, we help make things better for families impacted by a child’s burn injury, as for many families it can be a traumatic experience.
“Our support covers everything from residential camps and days out, to specific workshops run by psychological therapists and weekends away with families, helping create an environment where children and families can talk about their shared experiences, and help and learn from one another.”
The Children’s Burns Club was relaunched in 2013, and is part of Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, building on the independent charity started by Pat Wade MBE, from Basildon, in 1995.
Pat and some of the original volunteers, and now grown up children, still support the club and families involved.
Clare Panniker, chief executive of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s wonderful news that Martin has been recognised for the difference that he has made to so many people’s lives as part of the Children’s Burns Club, which is part of our internationally renowned burns unit at Broomfield Hospital.
“Martin should be proud of all his hard work and commitment to children and their families impacted by burns. He is a great example of how our staff go that extra mile for our patients and their loved ones.”