St Catherine’s Hospice was delighted to pick up the Charity of the Year Award at the West Sussex Community Times Awards earlier this month.

A huge cheer rung out as the hospice was announced the winner with the award publicly recognising the impact St Catherine’s has as a provider of local hospice care. At an exciting time of change for St Catherine’s, following a generous legacy donation and land donation for a potential new hospice building, winning the Charity of the Year Award was a chance for St Catherine’s to celebrate the work that takes place daily.

Claire Irving, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at St Catherine’s, said: “It feels a real endorsement for the fantastic work of our staff and volunteers. At St Catherine’s everyone is passionate about providing great care for people at the end of their lives and  helping them live well for as long as possible. To win Charity of the Year and tell everyone at St Catherine’s, including our patients, that we’ve had this endorsement is a huge, huge boost. This award is the icing on the cake for an incredible year.”

And Charity of the Year wasn’t the only award the hospice walked away with. One of St Catherine’s fabulous volunteers, Joe Brocking, scooped the West Sussex Community Time’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Joe has been volunteering for St Catherine’s for two and a half years and since then his impact has been nothing short of incredible. Since he started volunteering, Joe’s driven patients to Day Hospice sessions in Crawley and Caterham on 480 round trips and last year alone, he clocked up nearly 7,000 miles driving patients – the same distance as London to Beijing! In addition to his driving duties Joe also supports the Fundraising Team and, in the last two years, has delivered more than 30,000 leaflets and posters for the hospice.

Having worked in construction for 50 years, Joe never thought he’d become a hospice volunteer but says it’s the most rewarding thing he’s ever done. He says: “Driving patients makes their day special. That’s why I do it. If I could choose one last thing to do on this earth, it’d be to drive a patient.”

For more than 30 years, St Catherine’s has been providing specialist end of life care to local people across the communities of Sussex and Surrey. Each year, the hospice cares for over 2,000 people with 80 per cent of the care they provide given in the comfort and familiar surroundings of patient’s own homes including in Hayward’s Heath. Last year, St Catherine’s received 91 patient referrals from Hayward’s Heath.

Every day, it costs the hospice over £15,000 to provide their care services. With less than a third of their funding coming from the NHS, St Catherine’s relies on the generosity and support of people in their local community to make sure they can continue to provide their vital care. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in supporting St Catherine’s, please visit: www.stch.org.uk or email Sarah Achucarro, Corporate Development Fundraiser, on sarahachucarro@stch.org.uk or call 01293 447357.