A NEWCASTLE tax advisor has been awarded with a five year service award for contributions to Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

Emma Thompson, 54, from Newcastle, has swapped her finance skills for haberdashery by hand-making syringe driver bags using bits of old fabric for the hospice’s terminally ill patients.

As well as sewing for charity Emma, who works full time at Robson Laidler accountants and business advisors in Jesmond, also gives up every Saturday afternoon to volunteer as a receptionist at Marie Curie Hospice and spends some evenings mentoring new reception volunteers when needed. She has also coordinated collection tins and helped with distribution of collection boxes and Daffodil pins for the Daffodil Appeal in March each year.

Emma was awarded her five-year service certificate and badge at a vintage afternoon tea themed award evening at the hospice earlier this month, where local school children from Hawthorn Primary school performed in a symphony orchestra, Newcastle Vicar John Barron sang on stage and Jonathan Pickard added some magic.

Marie Curie North East and Cumbria fundraising manager Lisa Wilson said: “From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank Emma and all the other long service volunteers for committing so much time, passion and energy.

“Emma’s syringe driver bags are very gratefully received at the hospice and we very much appreciate her kindness.”

Emma said: “Marie Curie is a charity close to my heart as they looked after my gran when she was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago up to the time of her death. Volunteering in the hospice puts things into perspective – the staff really are angels in disguise. They make what should be a sad environment a rather relaxed and contented place and are always available to help family members and friend, not just the patients so I am pleased I can contribute to that in my own way.

“I am fortunate enough to work for an employer who encourages volunteer and charity work as all our staff are allowed to take one day out the office to volunteer for a charity of their choice which helps massively with what I am able to do for the hospice.”

“I enjoy making the syringe driver bags as I feel I am making a real difference to people’s care. The bags are made up using different fabrics and are reversible. They are made using small pattern prints and are made of cotton so they are washable.”

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance.

To ask about volunteer opportunities at Marie Curie Hospice Newcastle please contact: 0191 219 1000 or visit: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/hospice-care/hospices/newcastle

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