PRINCE Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, visited the borough this week to present Solihull Cancer Support Group with its Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a UK voluntary group can receive.
Solihull Cancer Support had its first meeting in 1986 with a few like-minded people with cancer supporting each other.
Now in its 29th year the group has gone from strength to strength – growing into a successful organisation that attracts the leading cancer specialists in the region to impart their valuable knowledge, giving talks on all types of cancer to all who attend the regular meetings and offering support and guidance to those in need.
And its amazing efforts over the best part of three decades have seen it handed the prestigious award, which was announced earlier this year and presented by the Duke on Tuesday (September 22).
Commenting on the award, Patricia Hill, Chairperson from Solihull Cancer Support Group, said: “We are delighted to receive such a prestigious award as this in recognition of the hard work and support of all the past committee members and volunteers that have helped make the Group what it is today, since it’s inception 29 years ago.
“I feel that this recognition will also raise the profile of other voluntary groups that do so much for the communities they serve and encourages people to put themselves forward to become a volunteer, as it is such a rewarding experience.”
The presentation took place at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull, which is where SCSG has its twice-monthly meetings and the Duke took the opportunity during his visit to speak to hospital staff and patients.
Speaking after the visit, Liz Cottier, Hospice Manager at The Marie Curie Hospice, said: “We were delighted to be asked to host the presentation of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service to the Solihull Cancer Support Group.
“The Support Group has held its meetings in the hospice for the last couple of years so we have a close connection to them and can only praise the wonderful support they offer the Solihull community.
“Having the Duke of Gloucester present gave us the opportunity to talk to him about the work Marie Curie does within this region in supporting people living with terminal illnesses and we’re happy he got to meet the people who were attending our Day Services.”
Observer photographer Neville Collins was on-hand to capture the visit and the proud moment Solihull Cancer Support Group received its award.
* To find out more about the support group, or if you need their support, visit: www.solihullcancersupport.org or call Patricia on 0121 711 1966 or Sandra on 0121 705 1321.
The group meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the Marie Curie Hospice in Marsh Lane with meetings starting at 7.30pm.