A DEDICATED Solihull volunteer at Marie Curie hospice has been handed a top award for her 25 years of service.
Molly Bird has been given a prestigious British Citizen Award – Volunteer (BCAv) after devoting one day a week to the hospice.
The 90-year-old, from Solihull, has been volunteering every Monday since 1994 and in her role on reception has welcomed patients and their families to the Marsh Lane site since it opened in 2013.
She travelled with her husband Norman to the Houses of Parliament on July 4, and was presented her medal by Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers and patron of the British Citizen Awards.
Molly is one of 35 medalists, each receiving a medal of honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’.
Molly said: “It feels brilliant to be nominated, it’s all been very exciting, and I feel humbled by the fact that I have received this award.
“I still can’t believe this is really happening, what a privilege and honour it is.
“I used to work as a receptionist at a doctor’s surgery, so volunteering at Marie Curie just felt right. I’m used to greeting people who may be facing problems themselves or have a loved one who is.
“I highly recommend volunteering to anyone who can.
“It brings so much pleasure, you meet so many interesting people. It is important to put a little back in from what life has given you.”
More than 1,200 patients living with a terminal illness and their families from the local community access the hospice for specialist care and support including bereavement counselling, pain management, complementary therapies, and exercise groups.
Hannah Nolan, Marie Curie volunteering development officer, said: “Molly is one of the most popular and long-serving volunteers at Marie Curie and during 25 years of service has provided a regular, supportive presence as part of the reception team at West Midlands Hospice in Solihull.
“Molly provides a warm welcoming face to visitors of the hospice, assisting them with their enquiries and signposting them in the right direction.
“She is a great comfort to patients and families who are new to the hospice, providing a calm and reassuring presence during a very difficult time in their lives.
“Without the fantastic support from volunteers in our hospices, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide all the services our patients and families need.”