Man of the Year for charity work

Maria Cann, Secretary of MRSA Action UK (left) and Edwina Currie, Patron of MRSA Action UK (right) present Derek with his International Man of the Year Award at Springfields
Maria Cann, Secretary of MRSA Action UK (left) and Edwina Currie, Patron of MRSA Action UK (right) present Derek with his International Man of the Year Award at Springfields
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THE dedicated charitable efforts of a Springfields employee have received global recognition.

Derek Butler, who works in the engineering workshops at the Westinghouse nuclear fuel manufacturing facility at Springfields, and who lives in Kirkham, has been named International Man of the Year for his involvement in the charity MRSA Action UK – the only charity in the UK representing victims and dependents of healthcare infections.

Derek helped establish the charity following the death of his step-father due to MRSA and in 2007 was appointed as chairman.

He said: “The charity aims to raise public awareness of healthcare infections, campaigns for safety standards and supports victims and dependants.”

The charity has evolved to become far more pro-active in its approach to lobbying politicians and drug companies to highlight the issues associated with MRSA, which has included Derek visiting 10 Downing Street to talk to policy advisers. In addition to attending quarterly trustee meetings, meeting with government ministers and health officials and attending conferences, Derek finds a lot of his spare time is spent dealing with phone queries for information and assistance.

“During my role as chairman I have been able to introduce the partnership approach applied at Springfields Fuels to many of the dealings of the charity,” said Derek.

“I’m very grateful to the company, without whose support I would not have had the time to be able to carry out my responsibilities to the charity.”

The award was presented late last year at the World MRSA Day in Chicago by the MRSA Survivors Network – a US-based charity associated with raising awareness and providing support and education of MRSA.

In recognition of his award the charity’s UK patron, ex-MP Edwina Currie, visited Springfields to thank Derek for his dedication and commitment and to formally present the award.

She said: “Derek has made an enormous difference to the MRSA Action UK charity and to the lives of everyone involved with it. He is a tireless campaigner and he brought me in as the charity’s patron at the time the infection figures in hospitals was rising dramatically and much of the improvements since have been due to his relentless campaigning.

“However, none of us will be satisfied until every hospital, doctor’s surgery and care home is much safer than it is now.”