Simply the best…and they have the Royal seal of approval to prove it!

The volunteers of St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield have been awarded the coveted Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK and recognises the St Luke’s volunteers who give 116,800 hours of their time each year, helping to deliver the best possible care to patients and their families.

The award pays tribute to the 745 people who regularly give their time for free to support the services provided for terminally ill people throughout Sheffield by St Luke’s.

Those volunteers – aged from just 14 to 94 – take part in a wide range of activities including fundraising, patient transport, bereavement counselling, recording life histories, being patient companions, delivering food parcels, tending the hospice’s gardens and providing vital support in the award winning chain of 14 St Luke’s shops across the city.

They also help provide nearly 3,000 free places each year on supported activities at both St Luke’s and at Clifford House – the St Luke’s centre for people affected by life limiting illnesses.

And their enthusiasm, effort and imagination help to raise more than £7 million annually.

Between them, these volunteers provide an estimated 116,800 hours of support throughout the year, helping 1,834 patients as well as their families and loved ones.

It is a level of commitment and enthusiasm that is estimated to be worth almost £1 million to St Luke’s every year.

The nomination for the award was made by keen St Luke’s supporter Anne Broadhead, supported by former Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun Denise Fox and the former Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, Lord Kerslake.

“No aspect of St Luke’s care could be delivered without their dedicated efforts,” Lord Kerslake commented.

“The community of Sheffield is lucky to have this support for such a worthy cause, across 48 years, helping to ensure that those affected by terminal illness receive the support and specialist care they need and deserve, all free of charge.

“St Luke’s doesn’t just happen – it only exists because over 700 volunteers are prepared to play their part, together supporting the hospice to bring essential services to the city, within a culture of care that other healthcare services can only envy.

“That collective spirit of volunteering is so embedded within St Luke’s that it pervades every aspect of its work and values.”

St Luke’s Chief Executive Peter Hartland said: “I want to express my delight that St Luke’s fabulous volunteers have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

“This accolade is truly earned and we are so proud to be supported by such wonderful people.

“This is an honour that recognises the efforts across the last 48 years – and in future years too – and is a true reflection of the wonderful memories our volunteers help to create for so many.”

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