TIRELESS volunteers have been celebrated by Teesside Hospice at its long service awards ceremony.

The work of 76 helpers who have given up their time to fundraise and staff its charity shops for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years was recognised.

Maureen Thompson, Chief Executive at Teesside Hospice said: “Each year we host these awards I continue to be overwhelmed with the support and commitment given by our volunteers.

“Every hour they give is precious and on behalf of the hospice I would like to say a big thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers - we could not provide our specialist palliative care without them.”

Teesside Hospice based in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, cares for people with life-limiting illnesses across Teesside. It has annual running costs of about £2.4m with about one-third provided by local primary care trusts.

Services it offers free of charge include a 10 bed inpatient care, adult and children bereavement counselling, outpatient clinics and home visits.

About 20 volunteers were presented with certificates at a ceremony held at the Masonic Hall on Roman Road in Middlesbrough.

“Teesside Hospice is proud to have the support of over 500 hard-working volunteers. It is with their skills, time and passion that we can make a difference to the lives of our patients,” she added.

“It is only with the kind support of volunteers that Teesside Hospice are able to care for over 3,000 people each year, hold fundraising events, successfully operate 14 charity shops, provide a warm welcome to visitors plus much more – every role makes a difference and helps to raise funds for the hospice.”