Lancaster hospice volunteer receives MBE

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A volunteer at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster has received an MBE.

Denise Mace who works at the University of Cumbria as HR Manager has now been given her award at Buckingham Palace.

The mum was given the honour earlier this month for her services to higher education and charity.

She said: “I am extremely grateful and humbled for this recognition which is a great honour and has made both myself and my family very proud. I would never have thought of receiving an MBE in a million years!”

Denise’s work in the community began at Bolton-Le-Sands Cof E Primary School where she was a parent governor for eight years and latterly Chair of Governors.

She then became involved as a director of the Shops Board of St John’s Hospice which she joined four years ago. St John’s Hospice is the proud operator of 10 charity shops in the Lancaster, Morecambe, Kendal and Garstang areas.

Before Denise attended the Royal palace there were weeks of outfit hunting and wondering which Royal would be presenting her award.

Denise said: “I felt scared having to mix with 100 other strangers but we were all in the same position and soon started chatting.

“I was very nervous in the line waiting to meet Prince William, but he was so lovely and interested in everything.

“He asked about the university and the hospice and showed great concern about the floods last year and how Lancaster recovered. Afterwards we were escorted to the courtyard for official photos and we were stood next to Alan Shearer and his family – another highlight.

“It has been a huge honour and privilege for me to attend such an amazing day and will be a memory that will stay with us all forever. I am proud to be a part of both the University of Cumbria, and St John’s Hospice.”

MBEs are awarded for an outstanding achievement to the community.