Home News The Duchess of York pays a special visit to The Kirkwood gardens

30 Jul 2021 Community

The Duchess of York pays a special visit to The Kirkwood gardens

The past 18 months have been particularly difficult for our volunteers, with many not able to help in the usual way. The majority of our volunteers were asked to stand down during the peak of the crisis, with some not yet able to return. Whether they have continued to be able to volunteer, have been shielding or simply haven’t had an opportunity to help over the past months, every single one of our volunteers continue to champion our work and are keen to help out once more. Last week, we were delighted to welcome Sarah, The Duchess of York, who popped in to pay a personal tribute to our volunteers and thank everyone in The Kirkwood movement for their hard work during this difficult time.

Sarah, The Duchess of York, visited The Kirkwood’s Dalton site on Wednesday 21st July to thank volunteers for their hard work throughout the pandemic and for everything they do for local people living with a life limiting illness. These incredible efforts had culminated in The Kirkwood’s volunteers being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups. The Duchess met volunteers representing those who support clinical services, those who help ensure our gardens are beautiful for patients, those who raise funds or who support our shops, and those who are ambassadors in our community.

Throughout the pandemic the Duchess has kept up to date with how The Kirkwood were continuing to support patients, carers and families across Kirklees, and has sent our team well wishes and care packages, including cupcakes and luxury wellbeing products, in recognition of the role The Kirkwood team have been playing in keeping local people safe in the In-Patient Unit, in their own homes and in care homes.

Speaking during the visit, The Kirkwood’s Chief Executive, Michael Crowther, said: "Volunteers remain the life blood of The Kirkwood movement, with hundreds of local people giving up their time each year to help support life. 

"The Duchess shares our passion for the role volunteering plays in local communities and came to see us to thank The Kirkwood volunteers for all their hard work and to celebrate The Queen’s Award with them. It’s fantastic that she has chosen to take the time to do so. It acknowledges and validates all the hard work our volunteers put in."

Volunteers who attended the event really enjoyed meeting The Duchess and were also keen to share how much volunteering meant to them personally. Giving something back to the community and The Kirkwood, as well as joining a passionate, friendly team were high on the list of reasons they gave for being proud to be part of The Kirkwood.

If you would like to help support life in Kirklees by giving a gift of time, please contact our Volunteer Services Team at: volunteer@thekirkwood.org.uk 

We very much would like to thank the Duchess for her continued support. 

Find out more about our volunteers receiving The Queens Award for Voluntary Service by clicking here.

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