Volunteers at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, recognising the 116,800 hours they give for free each year to the hospice.
The award is the country’s most prestigious honour for voluntary service in the community. It was presented to the volunteers by the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe at St Luke’s annual Volunteer Long Service Awards ceremony.
He was joined by the hospice’s President, Lady Neill DL, who presented long service awards to more than a hundred volunteers.
The longest serving volunteer on the night was Margaret Hirst, who has been supporting St Luke’s for 40 years and is a Telephone Support volunteer on the Bereavement Team, making calls to clients and offering support where needed.
Margaret is one of the 745 people who regularly give their time for free to support the services provided by the hospice. Aged from just 14 to 94, they help with a wide range of activities including fundraising, patient transport, bereavement counselling, recording life histories, being patient companions, delivering food parcels, tending the hospice’s gardens and running the charity shops.
They also help provide nearly 3,000 free places each year on supported activities at St Luke’s, and help to raise more than £7 million annually.
St Luke’s Chief Executive Peter Hartland said: “Everybody at St Luke’s is delighted that our volunteers have been recognised at the highest level. At an event where we celebrated the individual dedication of our volunteers, it seemed absolutely right that the Lord-Lieutenant should be present too to present the award that recognises the work of all our wonderful supporters.
“This accolade is truly deserved and we are so proud to be supported by such wonderful people.
“As we look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2021, we know that we can count on the continued support of people who give their time and dedication enthusiastically and tirelessly.”
For more information visit St Luke’s Hospice