Fond farewell to South Tynesider’s oldest hospital volunteer

Dorothy Robertson will her friends and colleagues.
Dorothy Robertson will her friends and colleagues.
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South Tyneside District Hospital’s oldest volunteer, Dorothy Robertson, has said goodbye after more than 70 years.

Mrs Robertson, of South Shields, will be 92 on March 12 and is well-known as one of the greeters at the outpatients department - welcoming patients and their families and carers.

She said: “I’m very proud to have been associated with the hospital and I will be sad to go but I think perhaps the time has come to call it a day.

“I have had a very happy, active life and my hospital volunteering has been very much part of that. I will miss seeing everyone regularly but I will keep in touch.”

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chairman Neil Mundy said: “Dorothy will be sorely missed and I can’t thank her enough for all she has done.

“Her selfless commitment to our hospital and to her local community has been truly remarkable.”

Mrs Robertson’s long service to her local hospital goes back to the Second World War At the age of 17, she was too young to fulfil her ambition of becoming a nurse but, appreciating her enthusiasm, the matron at the Ingham Infirmary took her on as a volunteer helper.

She became so trusted that she was allowed to dress wounds and she would go in on days off from her office job.

Mrs Robertson’s interest in local health extended to involvement in bodies such as the Community Health Council - of which she was vice chairman - and the Alzheimer’s Society in South Tyneside, where she was chairman.

She was also a magistrate for more than 30 years and a founder of the Relate marriage guidance service in South Shields.