Volunteer magician is shortlisted for top Mayor's Award 

20/10/2016 00:00 
Volunteer magician Peter Hire has been nominated for the My Community Award in the Mayor of London’s ceremony for volunteers.

From joining in February 2014 volunteering half a day a week, to now sharing around 800 hours a year, Peter personifies what it means to be a volunteer – giving your time willingly for the benefit of others.

As well as supporting the children and young people’s wards, Peter has developed an affinity with the older people’s ward. He said: “Some people shy away from volunteering with older people, especially those with dementia, but I have found it just as rewarding as sharing time with younger patients – if not more so at times. The combination of age, mental ill-health and possible loneliness means that distractions in their day can be particularly welcome.
“I’m very honoured to be nominated for this award, especially given the tens of thousands of volunteers across the city. I thank everyone who has supported and nominated me. Being a volunteer is a very rewarding use of my time and I encourage anybody to consider volunteering.”
Clive Pankhurst, volunteers lead, said: “We have about 250 volunteers and, although we are very proud of all our volunteers, Peter stands out from the crowd as he has gone above and beyond what is expected of him, working with staff to create a role that makes such a difference to patients.

"At a time when we’re trying to change the culture of volunteering at UCLH by showing what a real difference it can make, Peter embodies this by making the effort to get to know each person as an individual, and through the medium of magic helps raise their confidence and self-esteem.

"Although Peter came to us as a magician, the magic is just a prop, something to use to break the ice and make a connection with patients. Having also worked in the sector myself for a long time I have been very impressed by his ease and infectious passion.”
The Team London Awards celebrate the outstanding contribution made by volunteers in London across a wide range of areas. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in City Hall on Monday 31 October.

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