Our kitchen team recently nominated one of our longstanding volunteers, Mike Price, for a distinguished award known as the Order of Mercy. It was first awarded in 1899 and is to highlight those who have provided distinguished voluntary work over many years.

We are over the moon to announce that Mike was successful and we’re incredibly happy that he is being officially recognised for his outstanding service to Birmingham St Mary’s over the course of 20 years! He’ll be presented with the award at a ceremony on 11th July at Mansion House in London.

To mark this occasion, we had a little chat with Mike…

Shortly after I retired, as General Manager and Secretary of West Bromwich Building Society, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 1998, to celebrate my successful treatment, I walked 450 miles in 32 days across Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella, raising £4,000 in sponsorship, half of which was given to the Hospice. This finally encouraged to me to volunteer and give something back to society.

For every Monday evening for 20 years (excluding bank holidays, those were my odd days off duty), I was in charge of the kitchen trolley, providing individuals on the Hospice Inpatient Unit with some of their meals. So I handed out soup and puddings, and helped to collect the dishes as well as wash up. It’s fair to say I saw a lot of meals over the years!

Volunteering is well worth doing and I’ve very much enjoyed the company over the years, the staff I've worked alongside have all been very nice people and I’ve also enjoyed meeting the patients.

When you’re retired, volunteering helps to keep you occupied and it keeps your mind active. I completely believe that the more you put in, the more you get out of it and whilst I’ve been supporting the Hospice, it’s also been supporting me.

Sadly, I have finally been compelled to give up my activities at the Hospice, following treatment for spinal decompression which leaves me with very limited mobility, I sorely miss my Monday evenings and you are still in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you so much Mike for giving up all of your Monday evenings to support Birmingham St Mary’s! You’ve been an integral part of the Hospice and we couldn’t be any happier for you.

If you’ve been inspired by Mike and would like to volunteer please get in touch with us or discover what opportunities are available here.