King's volunteers win Southwark Stars awards

Volunteers Marthy Bonnerjea and Merle Spencer attended the award ceremony last week.


Two King’s volunteers, Marthy Bonnerjea and Merle Spencer, have been recognised for their work and won Southwark Stars awards.

Both Marthy, pictured, and Merle attended the award ceremony at the Tate Exchange on Friday 16 November.

Marthy, who is now 88, has been named as the Older Volunteer of the Year. Marthy started volunteering at King’s four years ago in the Haematology Unit and previously worked at the British Embassy and the British Council.

She said: “My husband was very ill and received treatment in the Haematology Unit. The staff looked after him and they were all marvellous, everyone was so kind and went out of their way to provide the best possible care. When he passed away, I decided I wanted to do something for King’s.”

Marthy spends her time on the unit helping with any admin, making teas and coffees for patients and staff, and chatting with and keeping patients company.

Merle Spencer has been recognised for her time commitment to volunteering at King’s, and has been awarded for completing over 100 hours. Merle, who has been a volunteer offering admin support for the chaplaincy team since June 2017 has actually completed over 500 hours since January this year.

She said: “I enjoy everything about volunteering with the chaplaincy team. I get to speak to lots of wards on the phone and I’ve got to know lots of people. I get on really well with the team and there’s always lots of laughs!

“I like that I can put my admin skills to use. I’m 72 now and the work keeps my brain ticking!”

There are currently 600 volunteers King’s volunteers provide practical and emotional help to patients and visitors, complementing the work of paid staff across the Trust.

The Southwark Stars awards are an opportunity to celebrate those who take the time to volunteer to support others and make Southwark a better place.

For more information about the volunteers service at King’s, or to become a volunteer visit the volunteering pages of our website.

For further information please contact:
Mary McConnell
Senior Communications Officer
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 4139