20th June 2012
HONITON: Hospiscare stalwart honoured by Queen
By Laura Goldsbury Noy
A founding member of the Honiton Support Group for Hospiscare has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for her work within the community.
Eileen Rooke, 81, who lives in Offwell, first found out the news of her award in early May, and has waited patiently for the right moment when she could share her exciting news.
The grandmother of 12 was pleased to finally be able to share the news with her family this week when the Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced.
She told the Pulman’s View From: “I have been waiting and waiting patiently for months and I am very excited about the award.
“I love the community of Offwell and love to support anything in the village.
“I am a member of a number of committees including the Women’s Institute, the community shop, the flower show and Parochial Church Council at the church, so I am very busy, but I have always wanted it to be that way.”
Mrs Rooke was inspired to volunteer for Hospiscare after seeing founding member of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders, visit a hospice in Sydenham, London.
Mrs Rooke said she was so impressed with what she saw, and after helping out with a hospice in London herself, she knew she should devote more time to volunteering.
When Mrs Rooke moved to Honiton 21-years-ago, she joined local volunteers who were looking to form a committee to support local Hospiscare Nurse, Angela Phillips, who still remains the nurse today. From there, Mrs Rooke has spent numerous years supporting the local Hospiscare as well as a number of local groups in Offwell and Honiton.
It was her fellow Hospiscare volunteers, and villagers in Offwell, who nominated her for the award.
“There was a team of people who got letters together to generate support for the award from both the local community in Offwell and those in Honiton Hospiscare and I had no idea,” she said. “It really is absolutely marvellous.
“I am very excited by the whole thing and so grateful to everybody who nominated me for the British Empire Medal.”
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