Volunteers who have been helping the Hospice for five, ten, 15 and 20 years were given awards for long service during a summer afternoon tea party.
The event took place on Saturday 16th June at Kesgrave Conference and Community Centre in Kesgrave, Ipswich, and was attended by around 200 volunteers and staff.
The Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Mary Blake, presented the special badges and thanked the volunteers for their support and commitment to the Hospice.
Hospice Chief Executive Jane Petit praised the volunteers: “We now have over 1,000 volunteers and they really are the life blood of the organisation. Our volunteers really help us make a difference, without them helping on our wards, in our shops, or out in the community fundraising, we wouldn’t be able to offer the services we provide.”
Vera Coles, 80, of Stowmarket, has been a volunteer at the Hospice for 20 years, starting as a receptionist for nine years and then moving on to the Stowmarket shop when it first opened.
She said: “My husband died in 1991 and received such wonderful care at the Hospice. He was treated in the Hospice for two weeks and at first he was terrified but after the second week, he didn’t want to come home. The doctors and nurses were amazing and in 1992 I decided to give something back, and volunteered on reception every other Sunday.
“I now work every Saturday morning at the Stowmarket shop and have done since the shop opened, I was one of the first volunteers to work in the shop.”
Gillian Shemming, of Ipswich, is one of 53 people recognised. For nearly ten years she has been providing complementary therapy to patients, mainly in Day Care. She said: “It is very humbling working at the Hospice. It is surprising how many of the male patients love the therapies. In most cases they have never had anything like a hand massage before, but every Wednesday when I come into Day Care, they are the first ones with their hand up, asking for another one.”
(Pictured above-Gillian Shemming, left, and Elizabeth Johns, right)
Elizabeth Johns, 39, of Ipswich, who offers complementary therapy to patients in Day Care at the Hospice, as well as at home, was recognised for 5 years service. She said: “A male patient commented to me recently that it was a pity he had to wait until he was ill to be offered complementary therapy, he enjoys it so much.”
Evelyn Kent, Jennifer Davies, Christine Fulcher and Freda Palmer have all been volunteering at our shop in Dogs Head Street, Ipswich since it opened five years ago. Freda Palmer, of Ipswich, said: “We all have a connection to the Hospice, each of us has lost a loved one in the Hospice, and volunteering in the shop is a way for all of us to give back.
“We all love working in the shop, and through volunteering there, we have made good friends in each other too.”
Those long-serving volunteers who could not attend the event received their award by post with a special letter.
St Elizabeth Hospice welcomes the support of volunteers to provide a helping hand in all areas of the organisation including its shops, garden, inpatient unit, reception, driving patients to day care, or helping with fundraising and administration.
If you are looking for a rewarding role see our current volunteer vacancies.
Here is the full list of Long Service Award recipients:
Victor Bradbrook, Fundraising, 20 years
Sue Bradbrook, Fundraising, 20 years
Vera Coles, Stowmarket Shop, 20 years
David Smith, Finance, 20 years
Gwynneth Rhys-Jones, Woodbridge Friends Group, 20 years
Anne Bannister, Woodbridge Friends Group, 20 years
Muriel Bridges, Fundraising, Village Rep and Framlingham Shop, 15 years
Alan Norris, Daycare Driver, 15 years
June Winter, Fundraising and Framlingham Shop, 15 years
Joan Reed, Felixstowe Shop, 10 years
Donna Ralph, Felixstowe Shop, 10 years
Frances Last, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 10 years
Gillian Shemming, Complementary Therapy, 10 years
Ruth Smith, Great Bealings Village Rep and Felixstowe Shop, 10 years
Alan Quinton, Fundraising, 10 years
Michael Jarvis, Maintenance Volunteer, 10 years
Jean Bloomfield, Catering, 10 years
Susan Goward, Family Support Volunteer, 10 years
Joyce Bardwell, Leiston Shop, 10 years
Anne Barratt, Woodbridge Friends Group, 10 years
Eileen Ritchie, Woodbridge Friends Group, 10 years
Mandy Barker, Receptionist, 5 years
Ronald Barton, Distribution Centre Driver, 5 years
Barbara Blacketer, Hadleigh Shop, 5 years
Tracey Deveney, Fundraising and Kirton Village Rep, 5 years
John Edwards, Maintenance Volunteer, 5 years
Linda Flaherty, Day Services Volunteer, 5 years
Janet Greengrass, Fundraising, 5 years
Rachael Hines, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Evelyn Kent, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Isabella King, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Peggy Reynolds, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 yearss
Jennifer Davies, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Christine Fulcher, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Frances Osborne, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Freda Palmer, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Mary Withers, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Vivien Jelley, Ward Clerk, 5 years
Elizabeth Johns, Complementary Therapy, 5 years
Stanley Canham, Box Collector and Fundraising, 5 years
Mim Canham, Box Collector and Fundraising, 5 years
Carol Carter, Community Fundraising Admin, 5 years
Janice Jordan, Receptionist, 5 years
Kay Marks, Receptionist, 5 years
Maureen Millar, Nacton Road Shop, 5 years
Mervyn Nunn, Daycare Driver, 5 years
Kathleen Ord, Woodbridge Shop, 5 years
Margaret Read, Family Support, 5 years
Patricia Pearce, Catering, 5 years
Debbie Pryke, Ward Helper, 5 years
Caroline Taylor, Receptionist, 5 years
Roy Thornycroft, Dog’s Head Street Shop, 5 years
Julie Whitten, Day Care Driver, 5 years