AN INSPIRING Droitwich couple who have dedicated more than 30 years between them to St Richard’s Hospice have been recognised with a joint Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sylvia and Arthur Whittaker attended a special ceremony to be honoured for the countless and invaluable hours they have given to the cause and fund-raising for it.
The charity helps patients with life-limiting illnesses by offering support to them and their loved ones through difficult times.
Sylvia has volunteered since 1996, undertaking a host of roles, including caring for patients in the day hospice, working on reception and maintaining the beautiful gardens.
She also helps in the Droitwich St Richard’s shop and organises numerous fund-raisers.
Arthur, who has volunteered since retiring in 2002, dedicates his time takings patients to and from the hospice on the charity’s minibus.
He also helps on reception and supports Sylvia with fund-raising events.
Sylvia’s mum died from cancer almost 23-years-ago and was helped by St Richard’s.
She said the charity gave her mum and the family so much care and support which really helped her to cope through a very distressing time.
“Four years after losing my mum, I decided to become a volunteer – it was the best thing I ever did and I was pleased when my husband Arthur joined me. It was a very humbling experience to receive the award – we did not expect it – it is a real privilege.
“It is good because it is going to make a lot of people who are not aware of the hospice more aware.”
Syvia said being a volunteer was very rewarding especially when they got to see the patients enjoying their day so much and were given the chance to talk their family members.
She added it was ideal for people who were retiring and wanted to do something worthwhile.
“There is something for everyone, and you can do as much or as little as your time allows.”
Anna Wharrier, the charity’s volunteer services co-ordinator, said: “Sylvia and Arthur have offered so much invaluable support over the years and this award is a just recognition of the dedication, skills and time they have brought to St Richard’s.”
Visit www.strichards.org.uk for more.
* DROITWICH chaplain Colum MacCourt was also shortlisted for the volunteer award.
Since 2008, he has worked alongside the doctors and nurses to support patients and their loved ones with their spiritual needs.
He works with patients in the day hospice, in-patient unit and visits people in the community. He also acts as chair of the Day Hospice Volunteer Forum, is a volunteer driver and helps out on reception