Countess Mountbatten House rewards dedicated volunteers

A volunteer involved with Countess Mountbatten House since its opening 32 years ago will be among those receiving an award for long service today (Friday, 11 December).

Pip Leach helped design the gardens at CMH and has been the first point of contact for all new volunteer gardeners, allocating their plot and helping them settle in on site.

A total of 83 people will be rewarded for their commitment to Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust’s specialist palliative (end of life) care service at the event, where Mrs Pamela Holden-Brown, Mayor of Eastleigh, will present the honours.

Steve Smith, who received an MBE for his work at CMH last year, will be thanked with the over ten years distinction.

Steve can be seen on the roads six days a week delivering equipment to patients at home – he even traded in his car for a van to carry more kit on each journey!

Also on the honours list is Ita Kelly, who has been with CMH for nearly five years and is already multitasking.

Ita started work on the tea bar, but now meets and greets once a week, answers the phone on the nurse station on weekends and is also part of the bereavement support team.

Daphne Bembridge, voluntary services co-ordinator at CMH, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the achievements of such a large number of our loyal and devoted volunteers, every one of whom is essential to our service.”

Dr Carol Davis, lead consultant in palliative care, Jacqui Swanston, matron in palliative care and Dr Sheila Lees, chair of Countess Mountbatten Charity, will all be in attendance at the event, which takes place in the education centre at CMH from 7pm.

Posted on Friday 11 December 2009