“We couldn’t do it without you”. These were just some of the words of gratitude and praise used to describe the importance of Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s 1,500 volunteers as they were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at the charity’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 27 September.
Created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation, The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.
A certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative crystal were accepted by Professor Stephen Spiro, Chair of Rennie Grove’s Board of Trustees on behalf of all the charity’s volunteers. Stephen said, “I am delighted to accept this Award on behalf of Rennie Grove’s 1,500 volunteers who, between them, provide 140,000 hours of volunteer support each year.”
Judith Moore, Head of Clinical Services said, “Thank you to all our volunteers from the patients that our nurses provide services to in the community. We could not do our jobs without our volunteers.”
Lynette Horridge who is a volunteer at Rennie Grove’s shop in Chesham said she felt “proud” of being a member of the team in receipt of the Award adding that there was a good atmosphere in the shop with positive feedback from customers.
Husband and wife team Mary and John Wiles from Holmer Green have been volunteering for Rennie Grove for nearly 30 years. They have held a number of roles in that time including fundraising, picking up collection boxes from pubs, driving and now both have worked in their local Rennie Grove shop for the last 7½ years.
When asked what receiving the Queen’s Award meant to her, Mary replied that it was “nice to be recognised”.
Operating in a wide variety of roles including trustees, van drivers, complementary therapists, Family Support listeners, shop assistants, receptionists, office helpers and event marshals, it is estimated that the value of these volunteers to Rennie Grove is around £1.5 million each year.
Sue Varvel, Director of Nursing and Clinical Services and other members of RennieGrove Hospice Care’s senior management team have been visiting each location where volunteers are based to personally deliver a Queen’s Award badge to each of them.
Sue said, “We simply cannot do what we do without our volunteers. We’re a team. We are all responsible for providing care for our patients and their families and for raising the funds we need to do that. I want our volunteers to feel so proud – this Award is for them. They are wonderful and I thank them from the bottom of my heart”.
Summing up Jenny Provin, Rennie Grove’s Chief Executive said, “We could not be more delighted that our volunteers have been given the Queen’s Award for Volunteer Services. This is a real accolade and the final decision about who receives it is made by the Palace”
To find out more about joining our award-winning team, please go to www.renniegrove.org/volunteer.