The most important award for volunteers in the country has been officially presented to Earl Mountbatten Hospice by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White CB CBE JP.
The Earl Mountbatten Hospice announced in June that it was to be the recipient of the Queen’s Award for voluntary service, known as the ‘MBE’ for volunteer groups. The prestigious accolade acknowledges the dedication and commitment of all current volunteers, along with the many others across the Island who have given, and continue to give, their time for free in so many ways and on so many occasions.
Volunteers and staff attended the formal presentation of the award, which took place in the John Cheverton Centre last Friday (30th September). Major General Martin White handed the award to volunteer representative David Dann, who has volunteered for Earl Mountbatten for the past 8 years.
David, of Yarmouth, said:
“I feel very proud and very privileged to have received the award on behalf of at least 600 volunteers, and both those past and present. My wife died of cancer eight years ago and the community services were absolutely brilliant, so I feel I am giving something back.”
Since the hospice began, almost 35 years ago, it is estimated that around 6000 volunteers have been recruited from across the Island.
During his speech, the Lord Lieutenant spoke of how hugely important volunteers are to Earl Mountbatten:
“Every single person who lives on the Island is touched by our hospice in one way or another at some point in time and I regard Earl Mountbatten Hospice as the Island’s charity.”
And speaking of the role of volunteers across the Island, he added:
“Without you, this community would not function.”
Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, echoed the comment and said:
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation and their roles are becoming increasingly more diverse. We now see volunteers being trained to support families through bereavement and visiting people in their own homes at the most challenging of times. There is no doubt that they will continue to play a vital part in all corners of our work, and we are indebted to them and to the many others who give their time for free every day.”
Photographs: Michael Dunkason