National gong for hospice hero Shirley

A DEDICATED fundraiser who has given more than 20 years' service to an Ipswich charity today told of her shock after discovering she will be honoured with a national award.

A DEDICATED fundraiser who has given more than 20 years' service to an Ipswich charity today told of her shock after discovering she will be honoured with a national award.

Shirley Quinton was nominated for the rare accolade by St Elizabeth Hospice for her distinguished voluntary work over the last two decades.

The 72-year-old will receive her Order of Mercy - one of just 50 given out nationally each year - on July 15 at Mansion House in London.

As well as working on reception at the Foxhall Road-based charity she has also served as secretary and subsequently chair of the Friends of St Elizabeth Hospice for ten years.

Along with the help of her husband, Alan, she has helped raise thousands of pounds for the worthy cause, which provides vital care and support for people suffering from a life limiting illness, their family and friends.

Together they have organised a range of money making events including coffee mornings, golf days and quizzes.

Most Read

Mrs Quinton said she was “shocked” to find out about her nomination and was looking forward to her trip to the capital.

“I could not believe it,” she said. “I did not know anything about it until I opened the letter from the League of Mercy in May. I am really looking forward to going to Mansion House.

“I want to thank those people who put me forward. There are only 50 awarded each year so I do feel very honoured.”

She said her involvement with the hospice in Foxhall Road started even before the building was constructed and part of her motivation over the years is personal.

“Cancer has wiped out almost the whole of the paternal side of my family, so it is a cause close to my heart,” she said.

Her devoted husband said he was extremely proud of his wife's “well deserved” achievement.

“I am so proud of the recognition she has received for what she has done for the hospice over many years,” he said.

The Order of Mercy was first awarded in 1899 by the League of Mercy foundation and honours volunteers who have given outstanding service.

Do you know a charity hero? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk