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Dedication recognised in New Year Honours list

The dedication of one of our most long-standing and much-loved volunteers has been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Adele Silvey, who has volunteered as a Craft Assistant on our Day Therapy Unit (DTU) since we opened in 1987, has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Thames Hospice.

Commenting on Adele’s BEM, Jacquie Batchford, Thames Hospice Director of Patient and Family Services, said: “We are thrilled that Adele’s remarkable 30-year commitment to volunteering at Thames Hospice has been recognised in the New Year Honours list. I am sure she would not want to be singled out, but I know that she will be very proud to receive this award, as are we of all she does to support our patients and their families.”

Adele, from Windlesham, has suffered with Arthritis since she was a teenager, which causes her pain when walking. Still, at almost 74 years old, this doesn’t stop her from dedicating her time to making sure patients at our DTU can maintain a good quality of life while managing their condition.

Carol, Thames Hospice DTU patient, said: Adele is a lovely lady and a ray of sunshine at the Day Therapy Unit. She is always happy and willing to help everyone. I look forward to seeing her on Tuesdays and she helps to make our time really fun and enjoyable .Volunteers like Adele are an asset to the Hospice and her personality really shines through.”

As well as setting up the DTU sessions, Adele greets patients with refreshments and a slice of her homemade cake, which she makes on weekends. As well as baking, she spends time planning and buying items for the DTU craft activities. No job is too big or small for Adele, who gets involved in the group activities and encourages patients to join in as well.

Adele’s approach upholds our Mission ‘to provide and support the best palliative and end-of-life-care to our community, giving dignity and comfort to those facing life-limiting illnesses’ and her role is crucial to the success of the DTU. We don’t have enough resource to fund a paid crafts position, so without volunteers like Adele, Thames Hospice wouldn’t be able to run such unique and wonderful craft activities for our patients.

Simon Smith, Patient and Family Support Team Leader, said: “Those of us who work alongside Adele have a great respect for her integrity and kindness. Adele puts the patients first and adapts her creative skills to the abilities and limitations of each person. Adele is a friendly face and a listening ear – and a ready supplier of cake, humour and wisdom in equal measure! After 30 years of volunteering, Adele’s energy and passion remain boundless.”

Last year, we honoured Adele’s years of commitment with a Thames Hospice Volunteer Award, and we would once again like to take this opportunity to thank her for all she has brought to Thames Hospice.