Hospice recognises dedicated staff and volunteers

A charity recognised its most dedicated and committed staff and volunteers at an annual awards ceremony.

Severn Hospice held a series of special afternoon teas to celebrate the efforts of its longest serving staff and volunteers – who between them have given more than 820 years of service.

Among those receiving their certificates and badges were Eirian Thomas, who has worked for 20 years in the hospice’s clinical and educational teams, and her colleague Cheryl Muller who has spent 30 years working for the charity.

Sheila Coombes has given 25 years as a volunteer on reception, Hazel Lilley has spent the past 30 years as a retail volunteer and Rod Kirby has been a transport volunteer for 20 years.

Dawn Greatholder received her 20-year certificate for her work in retail and Sheila Moule has been a bereavement support volunteer for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Barbara Wickstead has been a collector for the hospice’s lottery for 25 years.

The presentations were held at Severn Hospice, Apley and Severn Hospice, Bicton.

All were presented with their awards by Jeanette Whitford, chair of trustees.

Jeanette said: “It is a great honour to meet our longest serving volunteers and members of staff and thank them for all they have done over the years.

“Our staff are testament to the whole ethos of the hospice; their longevity of service illustrates what a kind, diverse and compassionate employer the hospice is.

“Without them and their commitment to everything the hospice stands for, we would not be one of the region’s most beloved charities. They enable us to provide excellent care to thousands of local people living with incurable illness.

“Our volunteers are so generous with their time – from working on our receptions to helping people reach their appointments, raising thousands of pounds each year with our lottery and working in our shops or in our beautiful gardens.

“The annual long service awards are our opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who makes Severn Hospice what it is today.”

Cheryl Muller, who began her career with Severn Hospice as a nurse, is now an educator in palliative care.

The hospice is a training centre for Keele University’s School of Medicine, and its dedicated team of educationalists teach the next generation of doctors and nurses the latest developments.

She said: “I absolutely love working at Severn Hospice and I’m incredibly proud to do so. It is so much more to me than a job as I am committed to palliative care. It is a real privilege to nurse patients and be with them at a time when they are most vulnerable.

“The hospice has changed a great deal since I first walked through the doors 30 years ago, it has grown and now we care for thousands of people not only on our wards, but also in the community and in their own homes.

“We are recognised as one of the region’s best providers for teaching different aspects of palliative care and people come from all over the country to learn. We are very fortunate to have such a talented team here at Severn Hospice who share their knowledge with other medical professionals.

“But one thing has not changed, Severn Hospice continues to give every person who is living with incurable illness dignity, comfort, and compassion.

“Working here is a real family affair – my husband Graham is a steward, so he is part of a team which helps the hospice run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. It says a great deal about a place when you can work in an organization alongside your husband and enjoy it.”

By Dominic Robertson

Chief Reporter