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An ex-Norwich City FC goalkeeper has been awarded for his commitment to the health and care industry by the UK’s largest family-run recruitment company, recently.

Trevor Saunders, a member of the Patient Participation Group at the East Norfolk Medical Practice, has been announced as the runner-up in the Reed Improving Lives Award for Health and Care for his years of volunteer work in the community.

The accolade is part of a national competition set up by Reed Specialist Recruitment to recognise dedicated individuals in the public services sector who are making a real difference to the lives of others through their work, and who have responded heroically to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former goalkeeping hero took it upon himself to volunteer and support the Practice with its community engagement, which helps patients to gain a better understanding social and health care available to them.

Trevor has focused his efforts on supporting the homeless population in Norfolk and providing social prescribing for the local community. This work included launching a Christmas stocking campaign, where local residents, businesses and organisations donated items to fill stockings which were distributed to those in need across Great Yarmouth, Waveney and Norfolk.

So far, the campaign, now in its third year, has distributed more than 3000 Christmas stockings, supplied by Towergate Insurance Brokers, across Norfolk and Waveney.

Additionally, Trevor hosts a job club every Saturday offering advice for anyone who is unemployed. The success of this scheme has even led to a partnership with Slater Menswear, which donates suits for those needing appropriate clothing for interviews. Slater Menswear has also agreed that those who get the job also keep their suits.

Trevor Saunders commented: “It’s an absolute honour to be announced as the runner-up in the Improving Lives Award and be recognised by other members of the community for the work I’ve put into the East Norfolk Medical Practice.

“I started supporting the practice to help raise awareness of the social and health care support they can offer to patients which many are unaware of. I would like to say a massive thank you to Ailsa Sheldon, GP, who nominated me for this award as well as those who have supported me. This is something I’m extremely passionate about, so to receive this recognition is hugely rewarding.”

Nicola Armstrong, Divisional Manager for Reed's health and care teams, added: “We’re delighted to name Trevor the runner-up of the Improving Lives Award for Health and Care. His work with the East Norfolk Medical Practice has had a significant impact on the local community and helped to improve the wellbeing of patients.

“The awards were established to recognise individuals who go above and beyond to support others, and Trevor embodies just that. Everyone at Reed Specialist Recruitment would like to say congratulations to Trevor!”