Elizabeth Yates began volunteering for St Margaret’s Hospice in 1984, and has been fundraising ever since. In recognition of Elizabeth’s years of dedication, Sue Willmott, Volunteer Co-ordinator at St. Margaret's Taunton In-patient Unit, nominated Elizabeth for a League of Mercy Award.
“I can’t find the words to express my gratitude. I received the letter completely out of the blue the day after my birthday, making it a double treat,” says Elizabeth. The letter invited her to attend an awards ceremony in July, where she will be presented with a medal at Mansion House in London.
The League of Mercy was founded in 1899 by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria. It was established to provide volunteers for voluntary hospitals before the NHS was created. The League was re-established in 1999 to honour health care volunteers in Britain. Only a handful of awards are presented each year.
“It really is overwhelming. I volunteer because I enjoy it, the hospice is part of my life and I’ve had so much fun over the years. I’ve been filled with pride at a number of achievements; when the building work finished on the Taunton In-patient Unit, meeting Diana, Princess of Wales, the opening of the Yeovil In-patient Unit, and so many more. No one volunteers for reward, the reward is seeing the difference the hospice makes to so many patients and families in Somerset, so it’s been very humbling finding out I was nominated - it’s the icing on the cake!”
St Margaret’s Hospice relies on over 1,200 volunteers like Elizabeth. Without their dedication the hospice would be unable to provide care to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness across Somerset.
On behalf of everyone at St Margaret’s, THANK YOU Elizabeth!
If you are interested in volunteering for St Margaret's, please take a look at our current opportunities here.