A dedicated volunteer who has supported patients to have precious video calls with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised with a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list.
Joanne Busson, one of the original members of the virtual visiting team at PAHT, has been recognised for services to the community in Harlow.
She has previously volunteered in a variety of roles at the hospital, including as a Butterfly Volunteer through PAHT partner charity, the Anne Robson Trust. Butterfly Volunteers offer a comforting presence, supporting the holistic care of patients as they near the end of their lives.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joanne joined the virtual visiting team, facilitating video calls and delivering messages to patients from their relatives and friends via the Message to a Loved One service.
Joanne said: “I feel incredibly honoured to have been awarded such a special and prestigious award.
“Through my various volunteering roles, I have met and volunteered with numerous teams of like-minded, can-do staff, trustees and volunteers who tirelessly give their time and energy to making positive change happen and all worthy of such recognition.
“I take great pride in being a PAHT/Anne Robson Trust Butterfly Volunteer alongside an incredibly special team.”
In addition to volunteering at PAHT, Joanne heads the Alternative Education Provision at Passmores Academy in Harlow and she also runs the homeless provision, the Harlow Chocolate Run.
Phillipa Haslehurst, voluntary services manager at PAHT added: “Five days a week Joanne volunteered, delivering the Messages to a Loved One and also managing the virtual visits made every day. Her compassion and care is second to none and she is completely selfless. Without her contribution, the services would not have been as successful as they are today and her kindness is genuinely embedded and instrumental in their provision.
“Jo continues to give her time and support to our patients at PAHT, as well as the local community. Jo is an incredible lady, who we are honoured to know as a PAHT/Anne Robson Trust/Butterfly/COVID-19 volunteer.”