Long-serving volunteers at St Elizabeth Hospice are honoured at special event

During National Volunteers Week we celebrate the achievements of all our volunteers.
And we highlight those who recently received long-service awards in recognition of their dedication.

They were given awards for long service of 20, 15, ten or five years during an afternoon tea party held at the Hospice, which was attended by around 200 volunteers and staff.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter presented the special badges and thanked the volunteers for all their hard work and making a difference

Hospice chairman Sam Wilson praised all the Hospice’s 600 volunteers and said: “They are at the heart of the Hospice operation and we could not provide the services we do without them.”

Sheila Stokes, of Ipswich, was one of 19 people recognised. She has given up her spare time for the last 20 years to help on reception and single-handedly run the patients’ library service despite her husband dying a year into her volunteer service.

She said: “A year after I started volunteering my husband Alan died in the in-patient unit. He hadn’t been diagnosed when I became a volunteer so it was a shock but the care he received at the hospice was wonderful.

“I set up the library for the patients and am now just about to start a CD library for them. I get enormous satisfaction out of volunteering and enjoy talking to the patients and staff.”

Former head teacher Janet Fowler, of Ipswich, was involved with the appeal to build the Hospice, was a member of Ipswich Friends and on the Hospice Management Committee.

For more than 15 years she has been helping at fundraising events such as the Midnight Walk and Walk of Thoughts and is an ambassador giving talks about the Hospice to community groups.

Mrs Fowler, whose first husband James Evans was cared for at the Hospice after she had started to volunteer, said: “I enjoy being able to help but when I started I didn’t think for one moment my husband would become a patient as he didn’t even have cancer then.”

Although Susan Bruce, of Ipswich, (pictured left) has a busy job at the town’s courts, she has given up one evening a fortnight for 15 years to man the Hospice reception.

She was spurred on to give something back after her father Herbie Bruce was a Hospice patient.

Mrs Bruce said: “The staff were also so good to my father. We all said we don’t know what we would have done without the Hospice. I knew I wanted to help if I could.”

For 15 years, Delcie Corbet, of Kesgrave, has organised the rota of Suffolk flower clubs who come each week to display flowers around the Hospice.

She also oversees the floral arrangements for special events. She said: “It is so rewarding to see the flowers being appreciated. I hope to keep helping for as long as I can.”

She is pictured left with Dr Dan Poulter MP, receiving her long-service award.

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, in-patient unit, reception, driving patients to day care, fundraising and administration.

If you are looking for a rewarding role see our current volunteer vacancies.

National Volunteers Week runs from June 1-7 and is an initiative aimed at celebrating the support volunteers give charities nationwide.

Here is the full list of Long Service Award recipients:
Sheila Stokes, Receptionist and librarian 20 years
Janet Fowler, Ambassador and fundraising volunteer 15 years
David Smith, Catering volunteer 15 years
Anise O’Donovan, Driving volunteer 15 years
Delcie Corbet, Flower club co-ordinator 15 years
Susan Bruce, Receptionist 15 years
Michael Cooper, Board member 10 years
Jean Ellesmere, Ward volunteer 10 years
Suzanne Macey, Ward volunteer 10 years
Rosemarie Lander, Shop volunteer, Hadleigh 10 years
Jean Ward, Shop volunteer, Hadleigh 10 years
Patricia Clack, Shop volunteer, Nacton Road 10 years
Maureen Holmes, Shop volunteer, Saxmundham 10 years
Sally Napier, Board member 5 years
Michael Mark, Driving volunteer 5 years
Monica Reed, Finance volunteer 5 years
George Peck, Distribution centre volunteer driver 5 years
Doris Sheldon, Shop Volunteer, Saxmundham 5 years
June Sayers, Shop Volunteer, Stowmarket 5 years

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