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PM awards outstanding Royal Free Charity volunteer for NHS 70th Anniversary

On July 6th the Prime Minister recognised Royal Free Charity young volunteer Malavika Bangera for supporting patients with live music.

Malavika volunteers at the Royal Free Hospital where she has been instrumental to the success of a project which incorporates live music into daily hospital activity. A keen musician, Malavika first witnessed the positive effect music can have on patients when she produced arrangements of classic songs for Barnet General Hospital’s dementia cafe. Excited by what she saw, she began visiting wards with her guitar to perform for patients.

The sixteen year old supported the work to design a sustainable music programme and helped establish it at the Royal Free, ensuring its future success and inspiring talented local musicians to volunteer. Live gigs take place in communal areas at the hospital, including the main reception and discharge lounge, and on many of the wards. Malavika continues to perform regularly and has secured a place to study Medicine at King’s College London from September.

Malavika is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Malavika said, “I am immensely grateful and honoured to have received the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister. My volunteering experience at the Royal Free Hospital with the Royal Free Charity Live Music programme has made me realise how powerful the impact of music can be. It was absolutely amazing to witness patients and their carers as well as staff members enjoying my music, and sharing precious moments of happiness together.”

As part of the celebrations for the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, volunteers who are making a real difference within the health and care sector are being recognised over seven days by the Prime Minister. Malavika was invited to an NHS70 roundtable and official reception at No.10 Downing Street on the 5th July, where she was presented with her certificate by the Prime Minister.

In a personal letter to Malavika, Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Your contribution to shaping the innovative ‘Live Music’ project is bringing joy to hundreds of patients and their families at a difficult time for many. You should be proud of the important contribution you have made to this exciting programme. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS I want to wish you the very best for your medical studies ahead as you continue to support the health service of which we are all so proud.”

For enquiries please contact Jenny Todd

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