UNSUNG heroes who save and improve people’s lives every day at Warrington Hospital were hailed in a new category at this year’s Warrington Guardian Inspiration Awards.

Dr Ahmed Farag was the winner of the inaugural Hospital Hero prize, having given up his free time to deliver vital health tips to thousands of school children across the town.

The Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cardiology consultant set up the Smart Heart programme in 2016.

He has since held workshops with nearly 3,000 youngsters – many of whom have since convinced their parents to give up smoking or exercise more.

Dr Farag said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic that this work has been recognised – thank you very much to the Warrington Guardian.

“I couldn’t have done it without my wife, kids and family and without the hospital’s support too.

“So far, over the past two years I have seen 2,721 kids in and around Warrington.

“The amazing thing for me was hearing that they had convinced their parents to quit smoking.

“Children have written back to me and sent posters that we have started displaying in the hospital’s corridors and sharing on our Facebook page.

“The message coming from kids is so beautiful and simple that it trumps anything else.”

Dr Farag was presented with his trophy by Gavin Thompson, corporate director at Warrington Disability Trading Company, which sponsored the category.

A host of other dedicated hospital workers and volunteers were highly-commended for their efforts.

Fran Clipperton saved a new mum who spoke very little English from extreme domestic abuse that she had been subjected to.

Mum and baby are now safe and doing well thanks to the help of a women’s refuge.

Maureen Thorniley and Margot Ellis were also nominated for the award, with the pair having volunteered at the hospital for eight years – regularly giving at least 15 hours of their time.

Meanwhile the Cheshire and Merseyside Blood Bikes were praised for their work transporting blood and urgent samples around the region.

The volunteers have been known to drive as far afield as Birmingham and London for patients.