CHAIR of Trustees at St. Luke’s Hospice nationally recognised for almost 40 years of dedicated voluntary service.
We are delighted to share the wonderful news that Gerry Peaty, Chair of Trustees at St. Luke’s Hospice, has been nationally recognised for almost 40 years of dedicated, voluntary service, in support of the Hospice.
Last Friday 29th July, Gerry was awarded the prestigious ‘Order of Mercy’ at Mansion House, by Lord Lingfield, President of the League of Mercy.
“It’s wonderful to be recognised in this way and to be nominated by people who have worked alongside me for so many years”.
Gerry’s dedication to the Hospice started in May 1983 when he joined a very small group of community minded people with a single vision – to change the provision of End of Life and palliative care within his community. Working closely in those early days with Edna, Pat, Ruth, Jenni, Jean and Hospice Co-Founders Trudy and Les Cox, Gerry remembers one of his first tasks was to bank the donation which started it all – 25p from Minnie.
“I knew we had to make sure the vision was realised. Trudy’s passion was inspiring and I fully understood why a Hospice for this community was essential. At that time I was running a business and had a young family, but the cause was very important to me, even though at this time neither I nor my family had personally experienced Hospice care”.
In those early days some of the committee visited other Hospices to learn from those who were already providing services.
“During one Hospice visit a relative shared with me a very personal account of the care they had received before and after the death of his wife. The way he spoke it was clear Hospice care was different and vital. His words have stayed with me for 4 decades and are as impactful today as they were then”.
Gerry has many, many stories from the ensuing years – from those initial meetings in Trudy’s front room even before Fobbing Farm was purchased, helping transport donated carpets for Basildon before the Hospice opened, the royal visit from Princess Diana in 1990 to conversations with the very generous land donor of the Thurrock Hospice.
“St. Luke’s has achieved so many milestones – too many to mention individually – but each one has heralded the beginning of a new era for the Hospice. That’s why I’m still as dedicated today as I was then – there’s still so much more to do”.
Gerry moved from Trustee member to Chair of Trustees for the Hospice during his years of support.
Eileen Marshall, CEO of the Hospice and one of the nomination team:
“Gerry has given a huge amount of his time, expertise and energy to help make St. Luke’s Hospice what it is today and what we’ll be tomorrow. We are so proud that Gerry has been recognised for his commitment and received this award – it’s a wonderful honour and so deserved. There are many thousands of people who do not know Gerry by name, but have been supported by the Hospice which he has helped to govern for almost 40 years”.
Gerry is one of up to only fifty Order of Mercy recipients who will receive the honour in 2022.