A doctor from Leamington Spa has received a national award this month for setting up the Leamington Spa’s Winter Night Shelter for homeless people.
The ceremony took place at the Palace of Westminster on July 6, where Dr Rutherford received her British Citizen Award (BCA). The BCAs were first launched in 2015 in aim to recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.
Dr Susan Rutherford began volunteering with charities while she was training to become a doctor and worked a lot within the Leamington area. It was during her time volunteering that she realised that on most nights there was nowhere for the homeless and vulnerable to seek shelter or food within Leamington.
In an attempt to solve the problem, Dr Rutherford partnered with a fellow medical student, bringing together local students and members of the public who all shared the common goal of helping those most in need.
One of Dr Rutherford most notable acts was her time spent negotiating with Tara and Co Estate Agents in Old Town, to transform the former Priors Club in Tower Street into a welcoming place for all, leading to the creation of the Leamington Winter Support Night Shelter.
Speaking to the Leamington Courier about her recent award Dr Rutherford commented that:
“I was pretty overwhelmed when I found out about the award. It’s very humbling when people show their appreciation like this because it’s not what you do it for”.
Dr Rutherford continues to give up a lot of her spare time to run the shelter and is currently working with a team of doctors dedicated to the health of the homeless. Her work has also helped to inspire students within Warwick, many of whom volunteer at the Leamington Winter Support (LWS) Night Shelter.