In 2013, seven of the 21 recipients of the award were hospice volunteers, such as Ann Loan, the longest-serving volunteer in an operational role at St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston, and Marie Gordon, who has been a volunteer at Northern Ireland Hospice for 27 years.
To be nominated for an award, individuals must have given seven or more years of outstanding service, unpaid except for expenses.
The League aims to encourage and recognise voluntary work in particular areas of care – including care for people who are sick, elderly or dying, but The League’s trustees will consider other similar areas of care recommended to them.
A presentation ceremony is held at a grand venue in London and each recipient will be invited to bring family and friends as well as representatives of the charity concerned.
The names of recipients are also published in the London Gazette and the award can help gain valuable publicity for the work of volunteers and charities.
Lord Lingfield, President of the League of Mercy, says: “We believe that it is vital to recognise and honour the work of volunteers. By doing so we may develop public awareness of their work and encourage others to join them in giving up their time to the voluntary care of those in need.”
Nominations can be made at any time, but the closing date for receipt of nominations for the July 2014 ceremony is 15 March 2014. Further details, including a nomination form, is available on the League of Mercy website.