On Saturday 24th June the League held its annual Strawberry Tea to recognise the fantastic contribution of its volunteers. A tasty tea was accompanied by presentations of long service awards, and followed by a wonderful performance by Funky Voices choir. Special mention must be made of Grace Thompson, who has been volunteering for Colchester League of Hospital Friends since 1967 – that’s 50 years of volunteering service!
Grace’s volunteering began with her taking a shop trolley round the wards at the maternity home in Colchester. She still takes the shop trolley round the wards, but now at Colchester General Hospital, and accompanied by her good friend Linda Van der Mark. Grace and Linda can also be found manning the tea bar at Essex County Hospital on a Friday morning, and Grace spent many years on the Executive Committee of the League – now known as the Board of Trustee Directors.
Other volunteers awarded certificates of long service were as follows:

5 years – Joe Crimes, Terry Spurgin

10 years – Shirley Hewitt, Monica Knightley, Marion Mead, Pam Wordingham

15 years – Janet Blackmore, Betty Callaghan, Frank Jordan, Jenni Mackay, Sue Thorpe

Councillor Gerard Oxford, Mayor of Colchester presents Grace with her certificate of long service

Volunteers proudly display their certificates of long service. Left to right: Betty Callaghan, Shirley Hewitt, Grace Thompson and Frank Jordan, pictured with the Mayor of Colchester

Grace with her bouquet presented by the League

Volunteers enjoy their strawberry tea