Burns Hospital Play Specialist, Tracy Foster, from Pinderfields Hospital, in Wakefield, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) award for services to burn and scald rehabilitation for children in the New Year’s Honours List 2017.
Tracy Foster has been a Play Specialist for 12 years and a large part of her role involves distracting poorly children during painful dressing changes, as well as reassuring them and their parents during their stay in hospital. She also helps prepare children for surgery and takes them down to theatre.
As well as her role as a Play Specialist, Tracy is also the Leader of the Mid Yorkshire Burns Club at Pinderfields Hospital. The Club runs a range of activities for burn injured children, including camps and day activities. As well as participating in the family weekends run by the Children’s Burns Trust, Tracy and the Burns Club team also arrange and lead weekend trips away for the children and family activity weekends which include both parents and siblings.
Throughout the year Tracy and the MY Burns Club team run ‘buddy’ events, where, if they have a child who is struggling, the club find another child in their area to mentor and help them in general. The club also runs ad-hoc trips and days out with the support of the Katie Piper Foundation.
Tracy enthusiastically leads the burns club team’s fundraising efforts to pay for the trips and activities for the children and raises up to £30,000 each year to give children these opportunities.
Speaking of her award, Tracy said: “I am absolutely delighted and extremely proud to have been awarded a BEM. I love my job and I love running the burns club knowing it helps children and their families. For me it’s a privilege to be able to help them.
“I am amazed and overwhelmed to receive the British Empire Medal. I am ever so grateful to everyone who has supported the Mid Yorkshire Burns club over the years. Without their continuous help and support we wouldn’t be able to offer the children and their families this additional support.”
Martin Barkley Chief Executive of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This honour is well deserved and recognises the outstanding contribution Tracy has made in improving the lives of children with burns. I would like to congratulate her on behalf of everyone at the Trust.”