More than 60 volunteers and staff have been congratulated for a combined 410 years of support and commitment to a local hospice.
A total of 67 five-year and ten-year long service awards were presented to volunteers and staff from across all areas of Treetops Hospice Care on Saturday.
The Risley-based hospice provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Among those recognised was Allan Perkins, 77, from Kirk Hallam, who has been a volunteer for Treetops for ten years, and Julie Bartlett, 44, from Sandiacre, who has been a Hospice at Home nurse for ten years.
Allan, who has also been a volunteer trustee for two years and is a familiar face helping out at Treetops fundraising events, said: “The whole experience here is that I get more out of it than I put into it.
“You get to know people. If you bring a new person in for their first visit, they’re obviously a bit hesitant and worried about what it’s going to be like so I can put them at ease.
“Volunteering is very worthwhile – you get a good feeling out of helping people who need help.
“Quite a lot of people that I’ve driven say to me – this is the only time I get out in the week so of course if we didn’t have any volunteer drivers, we wouldn’t be able to get them here.”
Hospice at Home nurses and health care assistants provide care for people at the end of life in their own homes.
Julie said: “It’s always really difficult to have somebody – a stranger – in your house but families do appreciate that in order to keep their loved one at home, that they need that support. Once they have had a few nurses through the door, they always say ‘I don’t know how I couldn’t have coped without them’.
“What’s always surprising is that when I leave in the morning, the family always thank me - but I always thank them for letting me into their house - and for making me feel so welcome - as it’s such a huge thing for them.”
Imogen Hopkins, volunteer services co-ordinator, added: “It’s been a really special day and a chance for us to acknowledge and thank all those that have been supporting us for such a long time.”