These selfless Sheffield people receive well-deserved recognition

Hard-working volunteers at St Luke’s Hospice have received the country’s highest honour for service in the community.

By Sally Burton
Tuesday, 06 August, 2019, 11:26
At the presentation are (l to r) St Luke’s President Lady Neill DL, Mistress Cutler Elisabeth Cragg, Master Cutler Nick Cragg, Anne Broadhead – who made the nomination for the Queen’s Award - Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, St Luke’s volunteer Helen Bacon and St Luke’s Chairman Neil MacDonald

Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe, presented the selfless workers with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

This is the most prestigious award given to volunteer groups across the UK, and recognises the incredible contribution of St Luke’s volunteers.

These people give 116,800 hours of their time each year, helping to deliver and ensure the best possible care for patients and their families.

The Lord-Lieutenant made the official presentation of the Award at the St Luke’s annual Volunteer Long Service Awards ceremony, that took place at the Cutlers’ Hall.

He was joined by St Luke’s President Lady Neill DL, who presented long service awards to more than 100 volunteers.

Margaret Hurst was the evening’s longest serving volunteer.

She has been supporting St Luke’s for 40 years and is a telephone support volunteer on the bereavement team, making calls to clients and offering support where needed.

Margaret is typical of the 745 people who regularly give their time for free, to support the services provided for terminally ill people throughout Sheffield by St Luke’s.

This dedicated service is specifically recognised by the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

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Volunteers aged from just 14 to 94 take part in a wide range of activities that include fundraising, patient transport, and bereavement counselling.

They also record life histories, are patient companions, deliver food parcels, tend the hospice gardens and provide vital support in the chain of 14 St Luke’s shops across the city.

These helpers boost nearly 3,000 free places a year on supported activities at St Luke’s and at Clifford House – the St Luke’s centre for people affected by life limiting illnesses.

Their enthusiasm, effort and imagination help to raise more than a staggering £7 million annually.

St Luke’s chief executive, Peter Hartland, said: “Everybody at St Luke’s is delighted that our volunteers have been recognised at the highest level.

“And at an event where we celebrated the individual dedication of our volunteers, it seemed absolutely right that the Lord-Lieutenant should present the Award that recognises the work of all our wonderful supporters.

“This accolade is truly deserved and we are so proud to be supported by such wonderful people.

“As we look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2021, we know we can count on the continued support of people who give their time and dedication enthusiastically and tirelessly.”