A WOMAN who has been supporting Barnsley Hospice since it opened is being recognised for her voluntary service over the past 29 years.

Jenny Hampshire, who turned 80 a few weeks ago, has been nominated as Volunteer of the Year in the Proud of Barnsley awards by staff at the hospice who have been amazed by her dedicated service.

Despite these many years of support, Jenny’s original involvement came about by chance.

“I was a member of a women’s volunteer group called the Soroptimists,” she said.

“Each year the president nominated a charity to support and for two years in a row they chose the hospice.

“It was still being built at the time – I ended up helping set up a hook-a-duck in a little pool and then a balloon race to raise funds.

“There were no paid fundraising positions at the time, but instead a fundraising committee – I ended up joining and helped start the Ladies’ Lunches and Brass on the Grass band shows.”

Shortly after this Jenny took early retirement and put her office skills to use by supporting the hospice – she has remained a steadfast and important part of the team ever since.

In the late 90s she became a member of the board of trustees for several years, but now focuses on admin work and serving as a fountain of knowledge.

She added: “I still enjoy the work but have definitely slowed down.

“I was 50 when I started so was full of beans – everything that there was to do I’ve done.

“I’ve not kept a record of how much I’ve raised or anything, really I just want to use my skills to help people.

“Usually I’m not one for recognition, but I am very pleased about the nomination actually.”

Ella Beale, a staff member at the hospice, sent in the nomination saying: “From everyone here at Barnsley Hospice, we want to thank Jenny for her ongoing support.”