Back to News list

This week the NHS Fife Volunteering Service, together with the Paediatric and Neonatal Service, held the official presentation of the commemorative artwork in recognition of longstanding play volunteer, Helen Hagan.

Helen volunteered for NHS Fife for over 30 years, with her volunteering beginning back in 1988. Helen wished to create a warm and welcoming environment for children and young people coming into the hospital for an outpatient appointment. Helen provided vital support to the play staff by providing and supervising play opportunities within the playrooms. Helen's presence in the play area enabled the play staff to carry out the duties in the treatment rooms with the knowledge that the children in the waiting area were being well looked after by her.

In December 2020, Helen was posthumously nominated for the Volunteers Award category at the 2020 Scottish Health Awards. The nomination reached the finalist stage and Helen’s family were able to join a virtual ceremony and see her years of dedicated volunteering within the Children’s Ward at Victoria Hospital recognised and celebrated at a national level.

The commemorative artwork was commissioned but latterly then donated by the artist, John Gifford. The scene is of Dysart Harbour which was of personal significance to Helen. Helen retrained as a nursery nurse/early year’s officer and her first job was at the school in Dysart. She often took the children to the harbour as part of their outdoor education, and in later years Helen would enjoy visiting the harbour masters house and reminiscing.

Mary Sparling, Helen’s daughter, also attended the event.

The painting can be found near the entrance to the Children's Unit at the Victoria Hospital.

Pictured (left to right): Tricia Marwick (NHS Fife Board Chair), John Gifford, Mary Sparling, Carol Potter (Chief Executive, NHS Fife).