Volunteers at The Kirkwood were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Her Majesty’s representative in the county, the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson.

The prestigious award was given in recognition of The Kirkwood volunteers’ outstanding contribution to helping local people affected by life limiting illnesses across Kirklees. The award is one of the highest a voluntary group can receive. 

The Kirkwood have a diverse volunteer workforce of over 800 members, who help in every area of their work, from raising funds to supporting those in their care to offering a listening ear to patients and families in need.

The Kirkwood, based in Dalton, is one of just 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year. It was presented to The Kirkwood’s founder and life president David Stocks in the hospice gardens on Friday.

Image by: Mark Flynn Photography

Mr Stocks said: “Today is a very good day for The Kirkwood. To be recognised by the Queen is an unbelievable honour. The volunteers really deserve every bit of praise. What they do for us is just tremendous and I would like to personally thank them too.

“Without them we wouldn’t be able to do half the things we want to do. We have been going for 40 years. I have been here from the very start and to go from there to now being one of the most recognised charities in Kirklees is just brilliant.”

The Lord Lieutenant said: “It’s a real honour being here to present this award. I would like to thank every single volunteer who works with The Kirkwood, it’s not often that a hospice wins an award like this so it is a really big thing but well deserved at the same time.”

John Johnson, volunteer services manager with The Kirkwood, was proud to see all the volunteers being recognised and added: “Days like this make the volunteering all worthwhile and we are incredibly proud of all the volunteers.

“I am so proud to lead the volunteers and we wanted to make sure every type of volunteer was here today. Obviously we would have liked to have them all here today but that wasn’t possible, so we wanted to make sure that there was at least someone there from every team.

Image by: Mark Flynn Photography

“The volunteers are the lifeblood of The Kirkwood, without them we couldn’t do the amount of things that we do. We have been running for 40 years now and I can’t wait to see what we are going to do in the future. The last 18 months have been difficult but hopefully we are getting back to normal now.”

On receiving the award, Pat Hewitt, who volunteers with The Kirkwood Fundraising Team, said: “It’s great to invited here today to be recognised for all the hard work we put in as volunteers. We volunteer because we love doing it and we want to help make a difference.”

Gardening volunteer Linda Roberts added: “We have a fantastic Gardening Volunteer Team who make this beautiful garden as good as it is. The patients and visitors absolutely love it. I also help in the Denby Dale shop and that’s a really important part of the way I volunteer. 

“To receive the award is brilliant and very much appreciated. We’ll continue to do the good work we are doing and trying to improve even more things as we go along.”