A long-serving Worthing Hospital scientist has called time on his sterling career to focus on the children’s charity he founded.
After 43 years in healthcare, chief biomedical scientist Malcolm Robinson, 60, is turning his full attention to Harvey’s Gang, the charity formed in memory of 8-year-old Harvey Buster Baldwin who passed away in 2014.
Harvey’s Gang arranges tours of pathology labs to help young patients with long-term conditions understand why they need to give blood and allow scientists to meet patients and their families.
Malcolm said it is his charity work that he will remember most fondly from his career.
“I have been doing the laboratory tours for just over four years so, for me, it hasn’t been happening for long, but it has had the biggest impact on my career,” he said.
“Now, we have 86 hospitals across the country and I will continue with Harvey’s Gang and help develop the Harvey’s Gang tours in more sites and spread it across different countries worldwide.”
The charity and its founder have received a number of awards, but Malcolm credits an award from the BBC’s The One Show as the most special, as it was presented to him by Harvey’s parents Claire and Richard Baldwin.
Last summer, One Show producers filmed Malcolm in his Worthing lab for the NHS 70 award for Children and Young People’s Care, and arranged for colleagues, family and Harvey’s Gang children to surprise him.
“I’ll never forget the day when I got the award as they asked if they could do an extra bit of filming,” said Malcolm.
“We walked across the entire length of Beach House Park three times, just talking. Then I saw everyone, from Harvey’s parents and his friends to staff. It was incredibly moving.”
He said the reason for the three takes was that, when everyone was told he had won, they needed time to dry their tears to keep up the surprise charade.
Malcolm began his career in the Royal Navy in 1976 as a lab trainee and in 1989 moved to the United Arab Emirates where he met his wife of 26 years, Linda.
The couple returned to the UK where he became a locum biomedical scientist at Worthing Hospital in 2006, before being promoted to chief biomedical scientist in the pathology department.
“Being a biomedical scientist is so unbelievably worthwhile,” he said. “The feeling that you have made a difference to someone’s life is the greatest feeling that you can get. And being involved with the NHS, regardless of your position, is like that – it is incredibly rewarding.”