South Shields hospital volunteer still going at 90

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... Dorothy Robertson, centre, with greeters co-ordinator Debra Hepburn, second from right, and fellow greeters, left to right, Margaret Stewart, Ann Thompson. Dorothy Rogers, Joyce Murdoch and Win Patterson.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ... Dorothy Robertson, centre, with greeters co-ordinator Debra Hepburn, second from right, and fellow greeters, left to right, Margaret Stewart, Ann Thompson. Dorothy Rogers, Joyce Murdoch and Win Patterson.

A HOSPITAL volunteer is celebrating her 90th birthday today.

Dorothy Robertson has been lending a helping hand at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, for more than 70 years –and is still going strong.

I’m very proud to still be associated with South Tyneside District Hospital which, as well as providing a great service, offers patients and visitors a friendly, personal touch.

Dorothy Robertson

She is one of the band of greeters in the Harton Lane hospital’s Outpatients department, welcoming patients and their families and carers, and helping them with inquiries – and she has every intention of continuing in the role.

As a girl during the Second World War, she had ambitions to be a nurse but, at just 17, she was too young.

However, the matron at the Ingham Infirmary in South Shields agreed to take her on as a volunteer in the outpatient department.

She said: “I was a general dogsbody, but I loved it so much that I used to go in on my days off from my office job.”

Mrs Robertson married at the age of 22 and has two sons, a grand-daughter and three great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Frank Robertson, who died 34 years ago, was a funeral director in South Shields.

Mrs Robertson, of South Shields, has a long history of service to her home town.

She maintained her links to her hospital over the years through her involvement in health bodies, such as the Community Health Council, of which she was vice-chairwoman, and the Alzheimer’s Society in South Tyneside, as chairwoman.

She was a magistrate for more than 20 years and trained as a counsellor for Relate.

She said: “I’m very proud to still be associated with South Tyneside District Hospital which, as well as providing a great service, offers patients and visitors a friendly, personal touch.

“I love the contact with the public which I get as a greeter. Sometimes, people just want to chat and the staff don’t always have time for that, but we volunteers are more than happy to talk to them.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki