Two volunteers at St Gemma’s Hospice, Sheila Miller and Janet Walker, have been recognised for their hard work and dedication in supporting staff, patients and the community.
Sheila Miller won the Volunteer of the Year Award and has been part of the Leeds-based hospice for over 20 years. She was commended for her compassion, support and dedication to patients and staff, especially throughout the pandemic.
The Volunteer Gardener of the Year Award was presented to Janet Walker, who has been part of St Gemma’s for over 15 years. Janet has made the gardens special for both patients and staff of the hospice. Janet was commended too for continuing to work on the gardens throughout the pandemic using her own tools.
On winning the award, Sheila said: “Volunteering is in my DNA. I am passionate about volunteering as I believe it can bring a wealth of knowledge to support organisations. I am so honoured to receive this award. I look upon it, not as a personal award but a gift to the organisation and I proudly accept it on behalf of all the volunteers who give many hours to help St Gemma’s reach as many people as possible.”
Janet added: “Volunteering gives me great pleasure in helping to make the hospice gardens look great all year round. I love seeing the pleasure this brings to patients, their families and colleagues at St Gemma’s.
“Whatever the weather it’s a privilege to be able to volunteer in the gardens. It’s a total surprise and great honour to win the award for Volunteer Gardener of the Year.”
At the awards ceremony, Hospice UK CEO, Tracey Bleakley said: “Congratulations to Sheila Miller and Janet Walker of St Gemma’s Hospice on winning both Volunteer and Volunteer Gardener of the Year Awards. Their dedication and commitment to providing vital hospice and end of life care has been amazing to see, and without doubt has made a huge difference to the many people who rely on their support.
“We had some incredible entries for our awards this year. In spite of a difficult 18 months, there are so many inspiring projects, people and volunteers who’ve made a huge difference in their communities by helping people get the vital care they need.
“Whether helping to raise awareness about what end of life care is, making sure everyone in the community can get help they need or supporting families through the loss of a loved one, each of our winners has made a massive difference to the care people with life-limiting conditions and their families receive.”