WILLOW Wood Hopice is already close to the hearts of the Tameside community. But now it has also won the royal seal of approval after being recognised with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The accolade is the equivalent in status for voluntary groups as an MBE is for individuals and is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK .
It is fantastic recognition for the 500 plus volunteers who devote themselves to providing care for patients and their families and generating the £2.3m that is required each year to keep the hospice operational.
In recognition of the award and their continued efforts, a number of volunteers were invited by Tameside Mayor Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick to the Mayor's Parlour in Dukinfield Town Hall on Tuesday 21 June. The Council is also highlighting all the local Queen's Award winners as part of its ongoing Proud Tameside campaign, which aims to put the spotlight on people, services and places which help to improve the lives of local people.
Hospice Chairman Pat McCloskey said “Everyone at the Hospice is absolutely delighted to hear the news that our volunteers have been recognised in this way - it is a huge honour that reflects the significant contribution made by all of our volunteers.
“Our volunteers are a vital and essential link in the chain of care we provide at Willow Wood and without their unwavering support we simply would not be able to care for the thousands of local patients and their families who need our support.
“The generosity and commitment of our volunteers continues to astound me and they are truly remarkable people.”
Chief Executive, Karen Houlston said: “We are extremely proud of this recognition and enormously proud of our volunteers and we are delighted that they have been honoured with this award.
“Since we first opened our doors in1999 so many people have given their time to enable us to provide our vital services within the local community and our volunteers have been at the very heart of Willow Wood. This award is for those volunteers who are no longer with us as well as our current volunteers.”
Willow Wood has achieved many milestones since it opened 17 years ago and has played an active role at the forefront of many new and exciting developments in palliative (Hospice) care.
In the last 12 months the hospice has launched a dedicated Dementia service to those with palliative care needs and will be implementing a new end of life service for those with Diabetes in the near future. These new services, along with the Hydrotherapy / physiotherapy service, the Lymphodema clinic and dedicated Blood transfusion clinic all complement the traditional Day Hospice care and the Inpatients Unit.
The Out Patients clinic, for those living with cancer and non cancer diagnoses, including neurological conditions such as heart and lung failure, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease, saw in excess of 230 patients alone in the last year.