Warm and welcoming – Vicky is our NHS Hero

As someone who thrives from being around likeminded people, who share her love of chatting and looking out for others, it was clear that Vicky Aldridge (51) would make a lasting impression in her role at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH).

Vicky works as a receptionist at Bloxwich Hospital, where specialist assessment, care and treatment is provided to people who are experiencing mental health difficulties over the age of 65.

She has just reached her one year anniversary with the Trust, where her role includes meeting and greeting staff and visitors, completing a variety of admin tasks, and being a friendly face for any enquiries or assistance.

“I love meeting new people and making conversation – I’m told regularly by others that I’m always smiling!

“I’m a believer in providing customer service to a high standard, in a way that I’d wish to be treated myself,” continued Vicky.

Vicky is often found helping the friends and family of patients at Bloxwich during their visits, who may be finding their situation difficult or hard to deal with.

She continued: “It’s just as important to look after them. Sometimes we forget that patients’ loved ones are also facing challenges, but knowing someone is there for them to talk to can offer some comfort and reassurance.”

Vicky has lots of memories during her first year at the Trust, but a special one was working to promote Deaf Awareness Week.

“I worked with our activity coordinator to create a display board with information. I wanted to make people more aware of the difficulties that deaf people face, and allow our patients, staff and visitors who are deaf to feel completely included.

“I undertook a level 1 qualification in British Sign Language, so I was also able to produce a leaflet for staff to use. I feel proud that I was able to share this as it’s something I’m so passionate about,” said Vicky.

The next big challenge for Vicky is to set up her own massage school, as she is also a qualified beauty therapist.
Her course for dementia massages has now been accredited, and she is hoping to teach this to staff from around the whole Trust.

“These massages help to calm restless behaviour, stimulate brain function, improve sleep, and more. What’s better, anyone can go on the course!” explained Vicky.

Outside of work, Vicky enjoys spending time with her husband, and rescue dog Missy Felicity! She also likes to relax anywhere by the water, whether it be the coast, a lake or canal, with Cornwall being a firm favourite.

So who is Vicky’s hero?

“My dad – he taught me to work hard and to always be kind to others. I’d also have to say my grandma, as she was strong-minded and had such a zest for life; she grabbed it with both hands!”

Vicky’s mental health message: “It’s ok not to be ok. Write a journal to get things off your mind and onto paper.”