Pictured left to right: High Sheriff Caroline Peel, Solomon Wells, Harrison Burnett and Thea Ricketts.



The Isle of Wight’s High Sheriff, Caroline Peel, has formally recognised 3 of Mountbatten’s young volunteers for their work at an awards presentation this week.

The High Sheriff’s Awards celebrate the achievements of young people under the age of 25 who have become positive role models and helped their community. Every nomination is considered by a panel, chaired by the High Sheriff.

Caroline Peel presented the volunteers, all aged between 11-years-old and 20-years-old, with their awards after carefully considering their nominations – labelling them as ‘astounding’. She said:

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“The calibre of nominees for the High Sheriff’s Awards this year has been astounding. I am so impressed by all the young people I have presented awards to.

“Their caring ethic, willingness to go the extra mile to help others, often whilst undergoing severe personal problems, has really touched me. I know that their work is inspiring others and that they will continue when studies and work permit.

“These are just three of 22 outstanding winners, and I know that their work with and for the Hospice has meant so much to the Hospice and the patients they have interacted with.”

The youngest of them, 11-year-old Thea Ricketts, has taken part in Schools Walk the Wight since she was 3 years old, and in the last 4 years, has raised over £10,000 in sponsorship for Mountbatten – with her other fundraising efforts including baking and selling cakes, and encouraging her family to complete a 97km challenge to support those living with dementia.

Ryde teenager, 17-year-old Solomon Wells, was recognised with an award after volunteering 3 hours per week with the Inpatient Unit since mid-August 2020. Soloman, who is in his first year of A-levels, is thinking about pursuing a career in medicine and wanted an opportunity to gain more experience and skills. Staff at the Unit said they have been impressed with his communication skills, labelling him an ‘asset’.

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The third volunteer, 20-year-old Harrison Burnett, has also been giving his time supporting the Inpatient Unit. He started this volunteering role in May 2020 when Mountbatten were looking for people who could support the Inpatient Unit at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. He said:

Liz Arnold, Director of Nursing at Mountbatten said:

“Many congratulations to our young volunteers who have been recognised by the High Sheriff Awards. Their contribution to Mountbatten is invaluable.

“Mistaken perceptions of what the Hospice does may impact on an individuals decision to volunteer their services to us, but it is so important that we encourage young people to talk about and understand death, dying and bereavement and how the work of Mountbatten is so important for those coping with these life experiences.

“We hope that many more will want to volunteer with us in the future.”



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