Thousands of people aged from 14 to 103 from all over the UK were nominated and from these nominations, 500 volunteers were hand-picked by a judging panel presided over by Her Majesty Queen Camilla.
Among the winners is Cathy, who has volunteered at Demelza since 2009. On Tuesday, Cathy attended a reception hosted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain at her home in Sevenoaks in honour of all the County's Coronation Champions.
From initial roles in catering and fundraising, Cathy has thrown herself wholeheartedly into supporting Demelza. When coronavirus hit, she volunteered as a driver, delivering resources to isolated families, as well as stepping in to support the housekeeping team, as they battled to keep the hospice COVID-free.
More recently, Cathy has joined Demelza’s volunteer bereavement team, a new initiative, which is entirely volunteer-led. Cathy leads on the bereaved grandparents’ cafés, booking venues and hosting grandparents who have experienced the death of a grandchild, allowing them to come together to share their experiences with others in similar situations.
If you are to pop into our hospice in Sittingbourne, it would be Cathy’s welcoming face you would see on reception, checking in children and families for respite and therapies, answering the telephone and directing visitors. And she’s not averse to donning an elf costume and delivering Christmas presents to children and siblings around the South East as part of our festive wishes project!
Cathy said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won this award and love my role volunteering at Demelza – I would encourage anyone to get involved. It was an honour to attend the ceremony and I had a fantastic evening”.
Lavinia Jarrett, Chief Executive at Demelza, who also attended the ceremony alongside Cathy and Chris Dix, who was also crowned as Coronation Champion for volunteering at the charity said:
“Demelza relies on over 1000 volunteers to help deliver extraordinary care for extraordinary children. Cathy is a true inspiration, clocking up over 2325 hours of volunteering for Demelza over the last five years alone – this award is so deserved. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers – thank you.”