On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 February, Treetops Hospice Care welcomed more than 300 volunteers and awarded long service awards totalling 380 years of support and commitment to the local hospice.

Forty-nine long service awards were presented to volunteers and staff from across all areas of the Risley-based hospice which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life limiting conditions, their families and carers.

Volunteers enjoyed brunches and lunch including homemade cakes and Georges Traditional fish and chips.

Truly incredible people

Imogen Hopkins, volunteer services coordinator, was absolutely delighted to be able to help present the awards:

‘Volunteers contribute well over £1million worth of time to the hospice every single year.

“Without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to deliver our services. Volunteers support every area of the charity – they are truly incredible people and being able to recognise this during our organised social events twice a year is a real pleasure.”

We support the wider family too

Nurse Educator Liz DockerAmongst those being recognised was Liz Docker, Hospice at Home nurse and nurse educator who was presented with her ten year award. Sixty Treetops Hospice at Home nurses provide care during the day and overnight for patients in their own home. The service is available free of charge and last year, Treetops provided over 41,898 hours of nursing care.

Liz, from Ashbourne, said:

“I can’t believe it’s been ten years – it’s fantastic! It’s the longest I’ve actually worked for one employer in my entire life. I came to Treetops from the NHS and coming here meant I could further my interest in palliative and end of life care.

“For the families we support, it’s a big relief that they are not doing it on their own anymore – nobody can keep caring 24 hours a day. We don’t just look after a patient, but we support their wider family too.

It’s a special role

“At my most recent nightshift, I spent time sat down talking with a family member, answering questions and explaining what was going to happen over the next few weeks. They could then go to bed and sleep better, knowing I’m there to look after their loved one and do everything needed in the night.

“It’s a special role. We have to be able to build a rapport with the family within those first few moments after we arrive – trust that we will look after the most precious person in their life.”

Liz is also the nurse educator for the hospice:

“Over the last ten years, the growth in Hospice at Home has been enormous and my role as nurse educator has grown alongside that, ensuring our nurses have everything they need to continue to develop as professionals within the organisation and constantly keeping them up to date with developments, changes in practice, and so on.”

Treetops current services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.

Volunteer Award Group Photos