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Royal Cornwall Hospital volunteer honoured with mercy badge
9:31am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Cornwall
The co-ordinator for the Friends of the Royal Cornwall Hospital hostess service has been presented with the Badge of the Order of Mercy at a ceremony in London.
Suzie Woodier, who has been a member of the Friends for 12 years, attended the League of Mercy ceremony at Mansion House with her daughter-in-law Dina.
Suzie received her badge from the League’s president Lord Lingfield. She said: “The ceremony was held in the Egyptian room at Mansion House which was very sumptuous and beautiful and I got to meet a lot of very interesting people who like me were receiving the award.”
Suzie, who lives in Ponsanooth, was nominated by the Friends of the Royal Cornwall Hospital with a supporting nomination from Kathryn Radcliffe, senior matron. She was nominated for her work setting up and co-ordinating the patient complimentary drinks service and hostess service.
Suzie added: “While this award was given to me I have a very supportive team of volunteers who I consider a privilege to work with and I really think of this award as a team effort.
“We now have 75 to 80 volunteers serving 71,000 drinks a year in these services. I feel we are often the first contact patients have with the hospital and it’s important we represent the Friends and the hospital in the best possible way we can.”
Each year around 20 to 25 outstanding volunteers are picked from a mountain of nominations to receive the Badge of the Order of Mercy, which is a hallmarked silver gilt representation of the original 1899 design depicting Sir Joshua Reynold’s figure of charity.
The award was first presented over 100 years ago for voluntary services assisting in the relief of sickness and suffering. After the Second World War and the creation of the NHS there was less need for volunteers so the award dropped out of use. It was re-launched again in 2000 for the Millennium and with volunteering now popular again the award is seen as a highly prestigious accolade.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust can find out more information by contacting the Voluntary Services Office on 01872 253737.
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