‘I get such a buzz’ - Kevin is named country's volunteer of the year

Kevin Constance was thrilled to be named Volunteer of the Year by the Charity Today Awards

Kevin Constance was thrilled to be named Volunteer of the Year by the Charity Today Awards. Pictured here with Lynda Mills, Volunteer Partnerships Administration Coordinator at St Elizabeth Hospice. - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

A man from Ipswich has been named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ after tirelessly dedicating his time to St Elizabeth Hospice for more than a decade. 

Kevin Constance has tried out various roles, starting out in the kitchen before moving to organising fundraising events, and then to manning the hospice’s reception desk. 

The Ipswich resident said: “I first became aware of the hospice 20 years ago when they cared for my mother-in-law during her last days.

“I knew then that in the future I would like to give back to the hospice team, as the care they gave her was something like I had never seen before.” 

Kevin was named volunteer of the year in the 2021 Charity Today awards and called it a "very humbling win". 

Kevin said: “I get such a buzz when I wake up in the morning and put my hospice badge on ahead of a shift. It is a fantastic place to be and I have made so many friends, both staff and volunteers, all of whom are so encouraging and supportive. 

“Knowing the impact the hospice has on so many people in the local community inspires me every day. The place is full of laughter and smiles, both of which are the best of medicines, in my opinion.” 

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He has also been awarded the prestigious Suffolk Award by High Sheriff of Suffolk, Edward Creasy.  

Jemma Wood, volunteer development manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are all delighted Kevin has received this brilliant recognition for his years of support to the hospice, it really is so well deserved. 

“Kevin is a great ambassador for the hospice like all our volunteers, who every year generously donate their time to supporting the hospice. St Elizabeth Hospice would just not be what it is today without our amazing volunteers.” 

Every year, St Elizabeth Hospice delivers specialist palliative care to more than 3,000 people living with progressive or life-limiting illnesses throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Their specialist care is available 24-hours a day, and is entirely free.