70th anniversary tea party tribute to volunteer Keith

13th June 2018

Fond memories of a dedicated volunteer will be celebrated at a special NHS 70th anniversary tea party in Bourne later this month.

Staff and friends of Lincolnshire's Cardiac Rehabilitation Service will be hosting the special celebration at the Elsea Park Community Centre from 10am to 12noon on Wednesday, June 27, in honour of Keith Simpson.

Keith Simpson, from Deeping St James, dedicated more than 40 years of his life to working in pathology laboratories in the NHS and became a volunteer at his local cardiac rehabilitation programme after completing it as a patient.

Keith's wife, Judy, said: "Keith had his aortic valve replaced five-and-a-half years ago and completed the cardiac rehabilitation programme afterwards. He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to give something back and started to volunteer. He could talk for Britain and loved helping."

Affectionately known to the team as 'Kindle Keith' for his love of reading during breaks, 80-year-old Keith would help set up equipment, greet and talk to visitors and help with refreshments. He sadly died in February this year.

Judy has now offered to volunteer for the team. She added: "Keith never thought of himself as someone special but I think he would be incredibly moved, as I am, to have this tea party in his honour."

Money raised on the day will go to Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust's Charitable Funds to help buy additional equipment to support rehabilitation sessions.

Laura Taylor, cardiac rehabilitation assistant, said: "Keith was a well loved and valued member of our team in Bourne and is terribly missed by us all. When we had the opportunity to celebrate 70 years of the NHS, it seemed only right to recognise Keith for his amazing 42 years service and to show our appreciation for his contribution to us.

"Having volunteers like Keith support our education and exercise programme is a real asset. The recovery period following a cardiac event such as a heart attack, surgery or procedure can be a frightening time, but our programme supports people to have the confidence and knowledge to return to normal activities safely."

Everyone is welcome to attend the party, which will include plenty of cake, refreshments, a raffle and other activities.