Treetops Hospice Care is celebrating after volunteers and staff won four awards at the annual Derby Telegraph Carers Awards, including Carer of the Year won by volunteer Jan Honman.

Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life limiting conditions living in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Last year, the hospice supported over 1,800 adults and their families.

The annual awards recognise those who go the extra mile to look after others.

Carer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Special Recognition Award

Jan Honman received a standing ovation when she was awarded overall Carer of the Year 2018. She was also awarded Volunteer of the Year and Special Recognition, for her volunteering role at the hospice for over ten years and was amazed by her awards:

“I feel absolutely thrilled and totally honoured. It’s such a lovely, lovely thing to happen and be here. Words fail me!”

An invaluable volunteer

Penny Lockwood, Therapeutic Services Manager at Treetops nominated Jan as she explained:

“Throughout ten years of service as a volunteer at Treetops, Jan has shown herself to be an incredibly warm, compassionate person and an invaluable volunteer – we can’t do without her basically, she’s amazing. She’s helped us with so many different things over the last ten years.

“From the outset Jan has given extremely generously of her time.  She began by volunteering both on reception and as a Day Care volunteer and then in 2009, she jumped at the opportunity to train as a Bereavement Support volunteer within the hospice, first supporting bereaved adults and then moving on to work with children and young people who are dealing with having an adult relative (often a parent) with a life-limiting illness.

“Jan’s role is extremely demanding and, due to her length of service with the team, she is trusted with some of our more complex work.  Jan has worked with family members together, supported children dealing with traumatic deaths such as suicide and murder, and worked with those dealing with the impending death of a loved one through illness.

“Alongside all of this, Jan oversees the resources we use for therapeutic work, ensuring all our therapy rooms, and particularly the rooms for children and young people, are kept refreshed with creative resources, appropriate books and games.  Jan constantly thinks of new creative ideas for therapeutic work with our younger clients and that in turn improves the quality of our work.”

Palliative Carer of the Year

The Hospice at Home team won Palliative Carer of the Year, with manager Carol Hopkins accepting the awards along with nurses Sue Sweeney, Wendy Williams and Jane Webster.

The Hospice at Home team provide 1-2-1 nursing care for adults at the end of life, who wish to remain at home in familiar surroundings with their loved ones around them. Last year they delivered 33,353 hours of nursing care throughout the Derbyshire areas, allowing 90% of patients to achieve their preferred place of care and die at home.

“This is a great honour and I’m incredibly proud of the team!”

Volunteer of the Year – Runners Up

Lee and Theresa Stokes were runners up in the Volunteer of the Year category. Theresa volunteers in Day Care, working with guests on the crafts table as well as recently taking on the role of Community Ambassador for the charity, going out into the community to raise awareness of the hospice.  One year after Theresa began her volunteering with Treetops, her husband, Lee joined as a volunteer as well, condensing his full-time job into 4 days so that he can help drive guests to the hospice to access services and escort patients on the Treetops minibus.

As well as supporting Treetops service users and working full time, both Theresa and Lee go above and beyond, volunteering at many fundraising events at evenings and weekends.

Treetops services include Support and Information, a Day Care Unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.