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Local NHS staff member selected as baton bearer for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWFT) Senior Specialist Occupational Health Practitioner, Julie Atkins, is one of 2,000 people being honoured by taking part in the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Julie will carry the baton on Friday 22 July at 8.00am near Kenilworth Castle following a nomination from her Girlguiding colleagues for the inspiring volunteer work she carries out in Warwick and Kenilworth.

Julie, who has been working in the NHS for 34 years, 24 of those at SWFT, and volunteering for Girlguiding UK for 36 years, is someone who devotes her life to helping others. She is dedicated to ‘passing on the baton’ to help develop future generations of local Guides, by sharing the skills and knowledge she gained when she was a Brownie and Guide herself.

After being nominated, Julie said: “This is an awesome opportunity to showcase the work Girlguiding do and an honour to represent the organisation in Warwickshire. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience, and I am looking forward to the event. Girlguiding has provided me with many opportunities, but this may be the highlight of my Guiding career. I feel privileged to be chosen as one of 2,000 people to carry the Baton. I’m excited and nervous, but I am looking forward to meeting the other local Baton Bearers.”

Speaking about her experience of volunteering, Julie said: “Volunteering has given me the opportunity to make new friends and develop new skills. As a mentor, I now assist our new volunteers with their leadership qualification. I am also a Leader/Assistant County Commissioner for Warwickshire, supporting all our members. It is great to see how these roles make a difference to the lives of girls within our community. I am inspired by the young females I meet every week.”

Warwick District will officially welcome the Baton, with a visit to Nuneaton with on Thursday 21 July followed by Kenilworth, Warwick and Whitnash on Friday 22 July 2022. This is one of the final journeys that the Baton will take before the Commonwealth Games Opening ceremony begins on Thursday 28 July.

SWFT and foundation group partner, George Eliot Hospital Trust, will also be represented in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by volunteers Laura Evans, Dominic Price, Hannah Sharpe who will be supporting in the athlete village as well as at the powerlifting and table tennis events.

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