Skip to main content

Clinical Psychology and Counselling specialist receives British Empire Medal

The Lord Lieutenant and Sarah Bull smile as they hold the British Empire Medal.

30 April 2024

A Clinical Psychology and Counselling specialist at Velindre Cancer Centre has been presented with a British Empire Medal (BEM) by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan Peter Vaughan.

Sarah Bull’s honour was announced in the New Year’s Honours List 2024 and a special ceremony took place at the Coed Y Mwster Hotel, near Bridgend, last week.

Part of the Clinical Psychology team at Velindre Cancer Centre, Sarah has been recognised for services to palliative care during an outstanding career that has spanned several decades.

The BEM was established in 1922 for those who have meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown. The medal recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK and is awarded to those who have had a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community that has made a significant difference.

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan Peter Vaughan said:

“It is always a pleasure to present individuals with special honours such as the British Empire Medal. It is a real privilege when you know that person has made a significant difference, ensuring those who need our help the most are provided with that help. Sarah has been an inspirational figurehead in the bereavement service, developing dedicated support for patients and their families, with a special focus on helping children deal with bereavement. I’m sure in her new role with Velindre Sarah will continue to make a positive difference.”

Peter Vaughan, who presented the medal, was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as Lord-Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan in May 2019 having worked for more than 33 years in the police service. From Aberfan, the role of the Lord-Lieutenant is to represent His Majesty The King throughout the county, including presenting certain honours, medals, and awards, and duties with the armed forces.

Making a difference

There were 9,000 new patient referrals to Velindre Cancer Centre in 2023 alone and it serves a patient population of approximately 1.5 million people in south east Wales.

Many of these patients benefit from the Clinical Psychology team who can help them with emotional difficulties during distressing life experiences, such as a cancer diagnoses or treatment.

Sarah previously worked at Velindre from 1998 until 2005 as occupational and physiotherapy technical support. She left to work at City Hospice as a counsellor and the Head of Bereavement Services, and came full circle to re-join the team at Velindre Cancer Centre at the end of 2023.

Among many achievements in Sarah's career is a professional counselling service she established in 2005 for patients and family members supported by City Hospice (previously known as George Thomas Trust). This included supporting children and young people of patients preparing for end-of-life care.

Sarah was also successful in a 2007 application for a Children in Need grant to set up a children and young people’s bereavement group in a collaborative partnership with Velindre Cancer Centre. This important support group ran for 13 years helping many children and teenagers to be able to express their feelings on loss and providing an invaluable opportunity for bereaved children to meet other children in a similar situation.

Learn more information about our Clinical Psychology and Counselling Service.

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161