Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service goes to the Volunteers of Keech Hospice Care

  • Bedfordshire Lieutenancy: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire presents The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Volunteers of Keech Hospice Care

Photo: HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss with Liz Searle, Chief Executive of Keech Hospice Care

On Wednesday 16 September, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis, made a socially distant COVID-19-friendly visit to Keech Hospice Care to present the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to its volunteers.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Keech Hospice Care provides free specialist care to adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire and children in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes who have life-limiting and terminal illnesses. The volunteers of Keech Hospice Care play a pivotal role in the delivery of the services. They cover a wide range of functions which include working in charity shops, fundraising, driving patients to the hospice, lifeguarding the pool and maintaining the gardens.

Joined by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Mr Robert Voss CBE, Mrs Nellis read out a commendation from HM The Queen, which she then presented to Chief Executive Liz Searle, along with a domed glass crystal.

Mrs Searle said, “I am very honoured to be accepting this award on behalf of our exceptional volunteers. For nearly 30 years, our volunteers have made Keech Hospice Care what it is today. Without them, we simply wouldn’t be here.

“This award is a fantastic tribute to all their hard work. I’m delighted their continuous dedication is being recognised because it enables us to keep providing outstanding care to children and adults, and their families when they need it most.”

Speaking after the visit, The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire said, “It was an honour to present the prestigious Queen’s Award on behalf of HM The Queen to a group of dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly over many years, and more recently throughout the pandemic, to create an environment where patients can spend quality time with their family and friends, supported by expert and compassionate professionals. My sincere congratulations to all the volunteers and staff at Keech Hospice Care for this well-deserved award.”

  • To join Keech Hospice Care’s family of volunteers, whatever time you have to offer, please visit www.keech.org.uk/volunteer or call 01582 492339. Full training is provided.