A Sandiacre woman who has volunteered with a hospice charity for the last 17 years has been awarded a rare honour for community service.
Barbara Parkinson, 81, has been presented with a British Empire Medal for her work with Treetops Hospice Care.
The medal was presented on Friday, October 21, by Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire William Tucker at the Treetops day care unit in Ripley.
Barbara said: “I keep pinching myself as I can’t believe it’s me. I’ve been at Treetops for 17 years, and I just love it here.”
Barbara began working in the kitchen when she retired as she did not want to give up work completely.
She said: “I saw an advert in the paper for volunteers and I decided I wanted to do something that I didn’t normally do.
“There’s nowhere else like it. I love talking to the guests and I just love the feeling you get when you come here. I hope I will continue to be here for many more years to come.”
The presentation was witnessed by an audience of Treetops staff and service users, the Mayor of Erewash Councillor Abey Stevenson, and Barbara’s family and friends.
Treetops manager Cheryl Webster said: “Barbara has helped provide countless meals, cooked thousands of bacon rashers at car boots and mopped hundreds of floors. But it’s not what Barbara does that makes her so special, it’s who she is.
“Barbara is an amazing ambassador for the charity and takes every opportunity to spread the word about what we do, who we support and the ways in which people can get involved.”
Barbara has also been involved with the Women’s Institute since 1959 and was county chairman for the Woodthorpe branch for six years.
Coun Stevenson said: ““It’s nice to see someone so deserving to get an honour like this. The more I hear about Barbara, the more I am in awe of all the things she does. She’s such a wonderful lady.”