Young hospice volunteer wins community award for outstanding work

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, and Featured.

A volunteer at Saint Francis Hospice in Essex has won a Jack Petchey award recognising her outstanding work in the local community during the current pandemic.

Molly Dickinson, 20, was one of two volunteers to be nominated for a Community Award, introduced by the Jack Petchey Foundation to reward young people for their work and the positive impact they’ve had on their communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It feels amazing to receive the Jack Petchey award”, she said. “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like this. I’d also like to thank everyone at the hospice for being so friendly and making me feel so welcome.” The award includes £50, which Molly generously donated to the hospice.

Last year, Molly wanted to make the most of her summer break from uni. When she took time out from her studies at Queen Mary University in East London, she decided to volunteer at Saint Francis Hospice, and she’s been with them ever since. “The calmness and tranquillity of the hospice put me at ease straight away,” she said. “As soon as I went through the gates, I knew this was the place for me.”

Molly kindly gives up her free time to assist on the ward, helping with patients’ meals — taking orders, serving, collecting and cleaning. Known for going about her work with a smile on her face, she’s not only appreciated by the patients, but also the nurses. As the hospice staff work tirelessly to halt the spread of the coronavirus, her help eases the pressure on them.

She admits that since spending time on the ward, her outlook on life has changed. “I’ve now realised that there shouldn’t be any fear of going to Saint Francis Hospice. Among the kindness and compassion, everything about the hospice’s care is dignified and respectful. I was taken aback by how the nurses’ care also extends to patients’ loved ones.”

Molly revealed that she’s learning a lot about the range of life-limiting illnesses the hospice treats. Seeing the patients smiling is what she finds most rewarding. “Just a simple conversation can lift them,” she said.

For more information visit Saint Francis Hospice.

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