Sue Hobley from Harpenden has been successful in the Mayor’s Pride Awards, winning the Voluntary Sector Award in recognition of her 25 years’ service with Rennie Grove Hospice Care and formerly Grove House. Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, presented Sue and eight other individuals or groups with their awards at a special ceremony at the Ardmore House Hotel last month.
Sue first started volunteering for the charity in 1991. Initially she was a Trustee, overseeing the governance of the organisation alongside other volunteers. After a decade serving on the Board, she took on a new challenge alongside this commitment: heading up the 25-strong team of volunteers who maintain and develop the gardens at Grove House.
For the last 15 years, Sue has overseen the planting, cultivation and ongoing management of the beautiful, serene grounds surrounding Grove House. Although any alterations in the design or planting are a communal decision, as ‘Head Gardener’ Sue ensures each team member is clear about what needs to be done and when. She extends her community reach by involving local companies, coordinating and supporting groups who are seconded to the gardening team through workplace Charity Days.
In addition, Sue has organised and run successful fundraising events for Rennie Grove, such as her popular flower arranging workshops. She also supports the charity’s events by supplying floral arrangements for table decorations and raffle prizes, not only increasing income but also ensuring that more of the funds raised can go directly towards patient care.
Sue said: “I feel very privileged to have been involved with such a marvellous organisation with all the expert services it provides for the local community.”
Rennie Grove Volunteer Services Manager, Jane Carruthers, said: “We are all delighted that Sue’s dedication has been officially acknowledged in this way. She is an example of the perfect volunteer: reliable, committed, well-organised, always smiling and a fantastic ambassador. As well as organising the detail of gardening projects and events, she never misses a chance to support us. From telling others about how the charity helps to organising fundraising events and inviting friends to buy tickets, her ongoing involvement with Rennie Grove is invaluable.”