Photo: Former Havens Hospice trustee Reg Ramm with his award, standing outside the original stained glass window at Fair Havens Hospice
A Southend man who has dedicated more than 37 years of his life to helping the local hospice movement has been recognised with the highest volunteering honour.
Reg Ramm MBE is a former Trustee of Havens Hospices and is now a Director of the development company which is building the new Fair Havens Hospice.
Last Friday he was awarded the Badge of the Order of Mercy at Mansion House in London in recognition of his time guiding and governing the charity.
Reg, a former accountant, has been involved with Havens Hospices since its inception when three local Christians called a meeting to improve care for the dying in Southend and Fair Havens was born.
“I describe the start of the charity as an acorn which has turned into a mighty oak and forever keeps growing, the latest branch being new Fair Havens. What was inspired by God is still evolving today,” he said.
“Through all the changes in staff, buildings and procedures, the one constant is the excellent care we give to patients and families at their time of need, and I am proud of that.”
The nomination was supported by former Trustee Brian Gillard, one of the original founders of the hospice Daphne Hall and John Western, Minister of Westcliff Baptist Church who said, “The charity is not just a good cause that he felt compelled to get involved with – it’s part of his heart.”
Reg continues, “Even after all these years, I am still drawn to that original vision of God’s love and compassion. There will come a time when I must leave, but now my heart and soul is still here.”
Reg has always been incredibly proud of the volunteers that work at the charity and encouraged the charity to become members of the NCVO (The National Council for Voluntary Organisations). Over the years, he has acted as an advocate for volunteers and often applied to take part in the NCVO’s ‘Day in the Life’ project, to help drive best practice in volunteering.
In 2018, he was joined by a member of the Department of Education, who was given a glimpse into how the charity is driven by people. Reg did not just use this opportunity to share best practice but also an opportunity to promote the importance of volunteering and inspire his visitor to volunteer.
“I am proud and humbled by this honour, but I really believe I have accepted this on behalf of all our volunteers. We are so lucky to have the number of volunteers we do giving their time and energy. I also want to thank my wife, Marian, whose support over the years has been invaluable.
“I have done different jobs over the years and I am grateful that I’ve been able to give that service. I wish the organisation every success as it grows and I have every confidence that it will thrive. I’ve never had any doubts that God will provide as He’s been very gracious to us.”
Havens Hospices include Fair Havens, Little Havens and The J’s, providing care and support to patients living with complex or incurable conditions, either within the hospices or in their own homes.
All this care is completely free of charge thanks to the generosity of the local community which continues to support the charity through kind donations, fundraising events and gifts in wills.