The Prime Minister has today, 21 May, recognised ART for coordinating volunteer visits to hospitals.
Liz is the founder of the ‘Anne Robson Trust’ which coordinates volunteer visits to hospitals to offer company and comfort to patients at the end of their lives. Following the death of her mother Anne Robson in 2010, Liz worked with the local NHS Trust on improving the hospital experience for terminally ill patients. Starting initially as a small group of volunteers, Liz soon realised that, for many patients, a volunteer was their only visitor. Liz set up the ‘Anne Robson Trust’ in 2017 and has since trained and led volunteers who have offered more than 700 hours at patients’ bedsides at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. The volunteers have carried out 1,300 visits to 450 individual patients across the hospital. This year the project is expanding to other hospitals with the creation of volunteer coordinator roles.
Liz is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Liz, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By founding the ‘Anne Robson Trust’, you are ensuring that patients receive dignity, compassion and company at their end of their lives. This is a truly meaningful tribute to your late mother, Anne.”
Oliver Heald, Liz’s local MP for North East Hertfordshire, said:
“I am delighted that Liz Pryor’s work is being recognised by the Prime Minister. The Anne Robson Trust has been co-ordinating volunteer visits to end of life patients at Princess Alexandra Hospital in nearby Harlow. Many patients from the East Hertfordshire part of my constituency use the hospital and I know how much it means to patients to have a person to visit them, particularly if they have no family nearby. Liz has helped train volunteers and organise 1300 visits. She certainly deserves this recognition and is a “Point of Light”.”
“Considering all that is going on in Westminster at the moment I was doubly amazed at receiving this award. As we say to the Butterfly Volunteers – it’s the small things that make the biggest difference, and having our work recognised in this way is absolutely wonderful. I would like to dedicate the Point of Light Award to all the amazing volunteers who give their time to hospital patients in the last hours and days of life. I am constantly humbled by their compassion and dedication to the role.”
Liz is the 1178th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.