Mike says his goodbyes after 15 years and £1.5m donated
Photo: (L-R) Gurmit Jauhal, voluntary services manager, Eileen Proud, president of Friends of Airedale, Mike Yates, retiring chairman of Friends of Airedale
It was goodbyes all round today as devoted volunteer and charity stalwart Mike Yates, Chairman of the Friends of Airedale charity at Airedale Hospital, retired from his role after 15 years at the trust, to return to his home county of Devon.
Mike moved up to Yorkshire 15 years ago to help a colleague and started as shop co-ordinator in the hospital outpatients shop. He was then asked to be acting voluntary services manager and subsequently became treasurer of Airedale New Venture, which was the other charitable organisation in the hospital, and has been involved with the Friends charity ever since.
Mike was instrumental in bringing the two charities of Airedale New Venture and Friends of Airedale together and is very proud of his achievements.
“What I will remember most is just being with all the volunteers and the social side that goes with that. I have always said to the volunteers, it’s a two way thing. Not only are you helping people but you are helping yourself as well. Some volunteers may have lost their partner, or may live away from their families and be on their own and suddenly they come into a group of people that they can make friends with and do so much good for the hospital.
“Since I’ve been a volunteer we have given over £1.5m to the trust in 15 years. It’s been amazing and it’s always been appreciated by the staff, the departments and the wards that we’ve helped.”
Voluntary Services Manager Gurmit Jauhal said:
“Mike has always had the passion, vison and leadership for developing the Charity and the hospital shops. It is very fitting that he won the Volunteer Pride of Airedale award this year jointly with Friends President Eileen Proud. He will be greatly missed by the volunteers and staff alike and we would all like to wish him all the best for the future.”
Michael Luger, chairman of the board of directors, said:
“Mike is an exemplar role model, giving up his time to volunteer his services to the work of the hospital. During his time here he served the trust with honour and dignity, and will be part of the Airedale family forever.”