QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: Derbyshire hospice volunteer awarded BEM

Barbara Parkinson

Barbara Parkinson

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A long-serving hospice volunteer is among the Derbyshire residents to be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Barbara Parkinson, from Sandiacre, has been honoured with a British Empire Medal for services to the community, including 17 years supporting the charity Treetops Hospice Care.

Barbara with Treetops Hospice Care catering staff. Pictured: Mary Shore, Barbara Parkinson, Dawn Jesson and Claire Rigley.

Barbara with Treetops Hospice Care catering staff. Pictured: Mary Shore, Barbara Parkinson, Dawn Jesson and Claire Rigley.

Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults and their families in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Barbara started volunteering in the kitchen at the Risley-based hospice after retiring and was stunned to receive the news.

She said: “When I got the letter, I thought it was something to do with voting so I got my neighbour to open it for me! I was shocked because so many other people do so much more than me. I don’t volunteer for a medal - I do it because I love it.

“I’ve been at Treetops for 17 years, after I left work aged 64. 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 it never goes, never changes.

“You have to give. You’ve got to give as much, if not more, to what you’re doing. I’d do even more here if I weren’t 80!”

Treetops’ support and volunteer services manager, Cheryl Webster, said Barbara was “a truly committed and dedicated volunteer”.

“Barbara’s energy and enthusiasm for Treetops is a shining example of volunteering and there’s always lots of laughter and fun to help the work to get done,” she added.

Barbara has also been heavily involved with the Women’s Institute since 1959 and was the county chairman for the Woodthorpe branch for six years.