Inspirational hospice volunteers win prestigious award

The red carpet was rolled out for three remarkable St. Joseph’s Hospice volunteers at the 800 Group’s Community Volunteer Awards at The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool on Thursday 7 June.

Volunteers Anne Dickinson, Valerie White and John O’Neil have each received community volunteer awards for their contribution and commitment to the hospice.

The 800 Group consists of eight Merseyside charities, with over 800 years of charitable service between them. The awards, which were presented by The High Sheriff of Merseyside, Mr Peter Woods, are a celebration of Merseyside volunteers who go the extra mile and are an inspiration to others.

Anne has been a volunteer for the hospice since the 1980’s when she used to take collecting buckets to pubs across Liverpool with her friends. She is a woman of many talents and, over the years, has payed piano at concerts, sold Christmas cards and hospice teddies and also put up countless hospice posters and flyers in her local area. But it’s not just the hospice Anne helps and she has even received an MBE for her charity work.

Valerie has been a volunteer at the St. Joseph’s Hospice charity shop in Maghull for around 12 months and she has become a valuable and trusted member of the team. Val always goes the extra mile and is always the first to volunteer if they need someone for a few extra hours. She even covers for the manager, Susan, when she’s away on holiday. Her support and contribution is vital to the smooth running of the shop.

Val also makes fantastic hampers for the hospice to raffle. If that isn’t enough, she does all this while being a full-time carer for her husband, Eric, who is wheelchair bound following s stroke a few years ago.

John has been volunteering at the hospice for over 15 years and it is quite simply his life. He will be there working in the hospice grounds whatever the weather, sweeping and raking, keeping the hospice gardens looking clean and tidy.

John was born with Cerebral Palsy but he doesn’t let that stop him and he loves stopping for a chat with everyone. He has also done many things to fundraise in the past, including sitting in a bath full of cold beans. He really is loved by all the staff and patients at the hospice and brings smile to everyone’s faces.

Siobhan Clinton, volunteer co-ordinator at St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “Our three award winners are true inspirations and are all thoroughly deserving of their awards. We quite simply couldn’t run the hospice without our volunteers but Anne, Valerie and John give so much and always go the extra mile.

“We would like to congratulate them all on their awards and thank them for the incredible contribution they have made to the hospice over the years.”