Double delight in Queen’s Jubilee birthday honours

We’re proud to share the lovely news that two of our staff have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Honorary consultant medical oncologist, Professor Ruth Plummer, and midwife, Diane Buggy, both received MBEs for the huge contributions they have made ‘beyond’ already demanding day jobs.

Professor Plummer received her award for services to medicine and her tireless work in helping to establish and lead the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trial Research Centre.

In the 14 years since it was set up, her support for the centre and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, of which she is a trustee, has been unwavering.

Diane, who has been a community midwife in the West End of Newcastle since 2014, received her award for services to midwifery and to the community in the North East of England.

Aware of the inequalities some woman in the area faced, particularly women who are refugees and asylum seekers, Diane saw the gaps that early help plans and routine intervention didn’t reach.

In response, she began collecting basic equipment which a new mother might need for herself and her baby as many of those she cared for had nothing and with no access to any resources.

She spent a lot of her own time increasing the network of mothers who could donate supplies and – in response to increasing demands for supplies – created Mothers to Mothers. Last year she received the Chief Midwifery Officer’s Gold Award for her work

She said: “I am completely and utterly shocked. There are so many others out there who would deserve an MBE so it’s really humbling to have been recognised. I am so proud to be a midwife in Newcastle and to be part of such an amazing team and I’m extremely proud of Mothers to Mothers.

This is not just for me, it is for all of the amazing families who support Mothers to Mothers with their donations. They’re not just donating ‘things’ these are things that have been used by their own children and must hold such special memories. This is for all of the wonderful women we support, they are all so grateful for the donations, they really feel loved.

I may have received this award but none of this would be possible without the people who donate and volunteer and support Mothers to Mothers – I really can’t thank everyone enough.”

Newcastle Hospitals Chief Executive Dame Jackie Daniel said: “Professor Plummer has worked tirelessly to establish and lead the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre since it was established in 2008 and has helped it become one of the most active cancer clinical trials units in the UK. She is an an inspirational colleague who never waivers from her focus on supporting her patients and finding new knowledge to help them.

“Diane is a much valued community midwife who has worked in one of our most diverse areas in the city since 2011, and has made a huge difference to many mothers and families. In 2018 she created ‘mothers to mothers’ as a way to support vulnerable women in Newcastle and Gateshead and she continues to expand this with passion and commitment. I know that everyone at Newcastle Hospitals will join me in celebrating this wonderful recognition.”

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