29th July 2019

Hospice volunteer awarded medal for distinguished service

A dedicated volunteer who has spent over a decade serving a local hospice, has been honoured with a prestigious award.

Colum MacCourt,  who lives in Droitwich, was nominated by St Richard’s Hospice to receive the accolade – which is titled Badge of the Order of Mercy – and recently received it at a special ceremony held at The Mansion House in London.

The award recognises the work of volunteers who have spent at least seven years working to support others, including those living with a serious progressive illness. Only 50 medals are awarded to volunteers from around the country each year.

Mr MacCourt started volunteering for St Richard’s in 2007 through a range of roles including driving patients as well as supporting them out in the community with companionship.   In 2008 he joined a small group of Chaplaincy volunteers offering spiritual care to patients and their loved ones. More recently he has been involved with running a course as part of the hospices Living Well service and supporting the Men’s Space group.

The Rt Hon the Lord Lingfield, President of the League of Mercy said “Mr MacCourt has done extraordinary work for those most in need. He is a marvellous example of someone whose longstanding and voluntary dedication to the service and welfare of others is noteworthy and remarkable and we were delighted to be able to make this well-deserved award to him.”

Mr MacCourt, who was accompanied by his son Michael and St Richard’s Social Worker Andy Schwab to the ceremony, said, “I most humbly accept this honour and thank you and all who were involved in this decision.”

June Patel, Chief Executive of St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Colum has received such recognition from the League of Mercy Foundation.   The award really celebrates the love and support he has  given  as a volunteer over many years, to patients, their loved ones, staff and volunteers.”

St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.

The hospice is also raising funds for the Build 2020 Appeal and is part way through developing a bigger hospice, enabling more patients and families to be cared for in Worcestershire. The total cost for expanding and redeveloping the existing building in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, is £5.3m.