Royal praise for hospice volunteers

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Rotherham Hospice volunteers have been praised for their efforts with a national award, from HRH Prince Andrew.

It is the first team a team of hospice volunteers has won the Duke of York Community Initiative Award, which was founded in 1998, ‘to actively encourage the development of community spirit’ in Yorkshire and the Humberside.

The valuable and inspirational work of hundreds of community-based projects has already been rewarded in the past 19 years. And now the 400-strong team of local people - who voluntarily support Rotherham hospice staff, fundraisers and patients day in and day out - are the latest winners of the prestigious award.

A spokesman for the awards said: “We are delighted that, for the first time, an award marks the huge contribution hospice volunteers make. The role they play in the hospice movement is absolutely amazing. Coming from all walks of life, the wealth of experience they bring to this vital service cannot be over-estimated.”

Rotherham Hospice’s voluntary services manager, Tracey Harrison-Marr, who has been with the hospice for 23 years, said: “I’m absolutely delighted the dedication of our volunteers has been recognised by these awards - and that we have achieved a groundbreaking first! The hospice wouldn’t be where it is today without its army of volunteers. They are a diverse group of people who volunteer for so many different reasons, but all are prepared to give their time to help someone else.

“They give us at least 41,000 hours each year for free, whether it’s manning the reception, acting as a trustee, manning a hospice fundraising event, helping in the hospice charity shops, transporting patients to appointments, or simply providing them with a cup of tea and a listening ear.”