The grandmother of Westmead, the late Sheila Clough, has been posthumously honoured with a medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly as a hospital volunteer.
From 1979 until her death in November at 95, Mrs Clough volunteered tirelessly at Westmead until she passed away inside the hospital to which she gave so much of her life.
‘‘That was nan,’’ said grandson Andrew Clough, 35, of Windsor, who nominated her for the award. ‘‘When Westmead hospital opened, nan went over there and said ‘‘here I am, I want to volunteer’’.
Mrs Clough, formerly of Westmead, was a founding member and former president of Westmead Hospital’s volunteer association and established the hospital’s gift shop.
‘‘She started off with a trolley and made knitwears to give to people in the wards who had no family... She basically provided care and a sense of wellbeing for people who were in hospital by themselves.’’
The great-grandmother of four was known to younger volunteers as ‘‘grandma’’, including Harris Park’s Diana Shurmer, 72, recently featured in the Sun.
‘‘She was a beautiful lady,’’ Mrs Shurmer said at the time. ‘‘You sometimes meet people in your life and you think, ‘‘they’re a nice soul,’’.’’
Westmead hospital’s operations director Shaun Drummond said Mrs Clough had left a ‘‘wonderful legacy’’ through her endless energy and empathy for patients and visitors.
‘‘The world needs more Sheila Cloughs,’’ he said.
Asked how he reacted when he learned she’d become an OAM, Mr Clough said he shed some tears.
‘‘A good friend said to me when she passed, ‘‘they don’t make ladies like that anymore’’.