Retired Social Worker Receives Prestigious Award

A retired social worker has picked up a prestigious national award after 10 years as a volunteer at Carlisle’s Eden Valley Hospice. Lorna Hadden, 64, of Carlisle, was presented with the Badge of the Order of Mercy in a ceremony at the Mansion House in London. Only 25 of these awards are handed out each year. This year’s recipients included Baroness Betty Boothroyd.

Mrs Hadden is one of only two Cumbrians known to be among this year’s winners – the other is another hospice worker from Barrow. The League of Mercy ceremony took place in the presence of the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of London.

Mrs Hadden was joined by her husband Billy and Leona Cameron, voluntary services manager at the hospice. It is the first time the hospice has nominated any of its volunteers for the award.

Lorna first began working in the hospice kitchen over 10 years ago, while still working full-time as a residential social worker. Since retirement, she now volunteers twice a week and helps day care patients. She also helps to raise funds.

Mrs Cameron, who submitted the nomination with supporting evidence from hospice leaders, said: “Lorna is a very valued member of the hospice family and is greatly respected by the patients, staff and other volunteers.

“She is also a great ambassador for the hospice. She is reliable, flexible and a great team member and never seeks praise or recognition.

“In light of this, everyone at Eden Valley Hospice is thrilled that Lorna has been awarded the Badge of the Order of Mercy in recognition of her outstanding commitment.”

The award was presented by Sir Robert Balchin, president of the League.

The League of Mercy was founded by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria in 1899. Its aim was to establish a large body of voluntary workers who would help with the maintenance of voluntary hospitals and “otherwise relieve sickness and suffering”.

The League today aims to recognise and reward distinguished voluntary work within areas of care.