A long-standing volunteer from Cheddington has won an award for her commitment to local charity, Rennie Grove Hospice Care, taking the top spot in the office volunteer category of a national awards scheme.
Former secondary Headteacher, Stephanie Thompson, has been named ‘Office Volunteer of the Year’ in recognition of her 22 years of service for Rennie Grove (and previously, Iain Rennie Hospice at Home). Staff at the charity are delighted that her dedication has been officially recognised by the Charity Staff Foundation, whose award scheme celebrates the outstanding dedication and achievements made by charity staff and volunteers all across the UK.
Following retirement, Stephanie provided a full secretarial service to the charity’s nursing teams in a voluntary capacity for 10 years. Now 82, she volunteers as a receptionist at Rennie Grove’s Tring offices at least twice a week, often providing holiday cover for other slots too. She says: “I really enjoy my involvement with the charity and the contact I have with a cross-section of people who have different ages, experiences and skills. To me, the great thing is that the Rennie Grove logo and information was in the programme for all to see, bringing attention to the great work the charity does. I couldn’t do what I do without everyone else.”
As well as managing the general line into the main switchboard, which might include fundraising, HR and general enquiries, Stephanie also looks after the nursing line. Dedicated to Rennie Grove patients and the healthcare professionals involved with their care, this phone line requires of its overseer a mix of empathy and efficiency to make sure clear messages get to the relevant Rennie Grove nurse as quickly as possible.
Volunteer Services Manager at Rennie Grove, Jane Carruthers comments: “Stephanie has these qualities by the bucket-load and has supported our nurses and their patients for over two decades with great sensitivity and skill. I am thrilled that our nomination, which was one of over 100 in this category, was successful and that she has been recognised officially in this way.”
Stephanie received her award, accompanied by Jane, at a special ceremony in London on 4 March. Jane adds: “We had a great time and it was wonderful to see Stephanie’s contribution recognised alongside so many inspiring people.”