She first started her journey as a volunteer at the hospital in 1976, working nights on the Dukeries ward, which at the time was the mother and baby unit.
During her time as a volunteer, Diane has also worked in the Daffodil Café and the Welcome Treatment Centre, and has been working face-to-face with patients for the past 10 years – greeting them, chatting with them and generally making sure they feel comfortable.
She said: “I love meeting people and talking to them, every day is something different and I get to meet some lovely people – both colleagues and patients. The Trust has always looked after the volunteers well and we feel very much appreciated.”
Diane was instrumental in providing the Daffodil badges that some of the trust volunteers still wear now – she bought these at a garden centre just before the Dukeries building closed to hand out to her fellow volunteers, and still wears hers with pride today.
Alongside her role at King’s Mill Hospital, Diane has also given up her time by volunteering at the John Eastwood Hospice, which she has been doing for 25 years. When asked what she would say to someone who is thinking of volunteering with the trust she said: “I would not hesitate to recommend becoming a volunteer – I love it!”
When she isn’t volunteering Diane finds the time to keep on top of her gardening, which is a hobby she loves, and sees her family, which includes her four grandchildren.
Diane was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a long service badge and certificate by Chief Executive, Paul Robinson and Director of Corporate Affairs, Shirley Higginbotham to celebrate her fantastic achievement.
Paul said: “It was humbling to hear how Diane has volunteered at the hospital for 45 years and the hospice for 25 years, all while juggling work and family life."
Shirley added: “We are so proud of all of our volunteers and it was an absolute pleasure to present Diane with her award. Forty-five years is an amazing achievement.”