Hospice UK announced the winners of its 2023 Awards at the annual National Conference, which took place this year in Liverpool.

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About the Hospice UK Awards


The Hospice UK Awards, awarded over 7 categories, celebrate the innovative work taking place in hospices and palliative care organisations across the UK, and the people involved with them. 

As a much anticipated part of the annual national conference, they are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the hard work that has taken place during the previous 12 months, and the long lasting impact that it will have.

For innovation and champion-based awards including Innovator in Care, Inclusivity Champion, Sustainability Champion, Digital Champion, and Michael Howard Team of the Year, judges looked for stand-out projects which will inspire other organisations, and those which show the wider sector the difference they’ve made to people facing the end of their life, and their families.

Through the two Volunteer Awards, the special contribution to hospice care made by especially dedicated individuals is recognised.

The Pendleside "Meals on Wheels" Team are the winners of the 2023 Michael Howard Award for Hospice Team of the Year
The Pendleside 'Meals on Wheels' Team

Michael Howard Award for Hospice Team of the Year


Winner: The Pendleside 'Meals on Wheels' Team

The Michael Howard Award for Hospice Team of the Year recognises the importance of collaborative partnerships and services to reach more people and deliver better outcomes at the end of life. 

The judging panel were impressed with how this team has expanded the hospice’s care into the local community. As well as delivering meals to vulnerable, isolated, and frail people it also provides a welfare check-in on them – all the while generating income for the hospice. 

The service was meant to be temporary during COVID – avoiding furloughing its catering team and standing down its volunteers – but subsequently became a permanent service, operating seven days a week, 365 days a year. Its largely volunteer workforce consistently show commitment and outstanding service. The “Meals on Wheels Team" provide valuable links to help vulnerable people benefit from hospice care. 

In addition, in the last two years the service has generated a £35,000 surplus which has been used to fund patient care at the hospice.

The Awards Panel commented:

“We were particularly impressed with this entry, and how the largely volunteer workforce consistently show commitment and outstanding service to the community, all year-round. We also recognise their collaborative work with other hospice teams, passing on any concerns about people they service back to them, and that they work closely with national food waste and hunger charity FairShare. Well done to all involved!”

The winner of the 2023 Innovator in Care Award was Dr Christine Mott, Acorns Hospices
Dr Christine Mott, Acorns Hospices

Innovator in Care Award


Winner: Dr Christine Mott, Acorns Hospices

Diabetes Mellitus is relatively common in adult palliative care, but is infrequently seen in paediatrics. This means when a patient and their family come to a paediatric hospice, clinical care staff can feel uncertain and unfamiliar with their needs. 

After caring for a young person at end of life who was experiencing Diabetes Mellitus, Christine and her team at the hospice searched for a paediatric guideline but was unable to locate one. So, they brought together a group of organisations and endocrinologists from the UK and internationally to write a guideline. 

Using the new Managing Diabetes Mellitus in Paediatric Palliative Care guideline, with its clear management recommendations, children and young people may be able to avoid the unpleasant symptoms and side effects of the medications, and to be supported in considering care options with palliative care staff who feel confident in providing these.

The team would like to dedicate this award to the memory of Lucy Watson whose inspired this work.

The Awards Panel agreed that this piece of work would be hugely valuable. They commented:

“Christine and her team's work has undoubtedly made an invaluable contribution to hospice and end of life care for children and young people, the guidance will equip palliative care staff to feel confident in providing the best possible care. Their recommendations mean that children and young people with Diabetes Mellitus will be supported to live as well as possible by receiving evidenced based care. Well done Christine and team!”

Find out more about the Innovator in Care Award.

Duncan Fleming, Mountbatten Hospice, was the winner of the 2023 Digital Champion Award at the Hospice UK National Conference
Duncan Fleming, Mountbatten Hospice

Digital Champion Award


Winner: Duncan Fleming, Mountbatten Hospice

The panel were particularly impressed with the collaboration shown on four pieces of work. 

Duncan and the Mountbatten team collaborated on these both internally and externally, with neighbouring hospices and others. This collaboration showed innovative thinking in multiple areas, and an eagerness to share the work, and learnings, more widely.

This included exciting thinking about using digital to improve patient experience and safety. Projects included the development of electronic prescriptions, a new patient record app, using VR headsets to reduce pain and stress in patients, as well as finding ways to join up access to patient records across the wider healthcare system. 

Importantly, their work is helping to develop future IT professionals through a mentoring scheme for students.

The Awards Panel added:

“Duncan and the Mountbatten team are worthy winners of the Digital Champion Award. We were particularly impressed with their collaboration with neighbouring hospices to share IT services and develop future IT professionals through a mentoring scheme for students. Their commitment to sharing knowledge and learning more widely stood out as an opportunity to improve digital services across the hospice sector. Congratulations to Duncan and all the team at Mountbatten!”

Find out more about the Digital Champion Award.

Leah from Pendleside Hospice was the 2023 Inclusivity Champion award winner
Leah, Pendleside Hospice

Inclusivity Champion Award


Leah’s collaborative project aims to raise awareness of Pendleside Hospice’s services amongst the minority ethnic community in Burnley and Pendle. 

This award acknowledges the vital work done to recognise and celebrate what is important to the local Asian community in marking Ramadan and the significance of Iftar. 

The Awards Panel commented:

“Hospices across the UK are keen to better understand the diverse voices of their communities and ensure more people know about hospice care and can access it if needed. It was clear that the development of trust built between the hospice and the community members has contributed to an increase in patient referrals, an appointment of a hospice trustee and an increase in volunteer recruitment. Well done Leah!”

Find out more about the Inclusivity Champion Award.

CEO of St Wilfrid's Hospice, Lois Howell, collects the Sustainability Champion award on behalf of Mark Robins
CEO Lois Howell collects on behalf of Mark Robins

Sustainability Champion Award


Winner: Mark Robins, St Wilfrid’s Hospice Chichester

Mark is the definition of a Sustainability Champion and we are delighted to recognise his achievements through this award. Mark’s drive and initiative has quantifiably reduced the environmental impact of St Wilfrid’s Hospice. 

Thanks to Mark, general waste is sent to generate electricity and heat, achieving a 100% diversion from landfill. Card and paper are turned into new paper sheets, food waste is broken down into biogas and bio-fertiliser, and used cooking oil is converted to biodiesel. 

The Awards Panel added:

“Mark has not only got the whole hospice behind him, but he’s also selected and engaged external suppliers who share his values. Congratulations Mark!”

Find out more about the Sustainability Champion Award.

Jess Sheridan, Dorothy House Hospice, was the winner of the 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award
Jess Sheridan, Dorothy House Hospice

Volunteer of the Year Award


Winner: Jess Sheridan, Dorothy House Hospice

Volunteers are the lifeblood of hospices and without their support many hospices would struggle to provide the excellent services they do. We are delighted to acknowledge Jess Sheridan, volunteer at Dorothy House Hospice as Hospice UK’s Volunteer of the Year. 

19-year-old Jess is a Young People’s Ambassador for Dorothy House Hospice who shows remarkable commitment using her personal experience to champion the hospice’s work. She supports children from local schools talking with them about her experience of grief and bereavement. 

By describing the catastrophic effect of losing her mum as a teenager and its impact on her academic career and her personal life, Jess has been able to offer advice to other bereaved young people, acting as a role model and helping them to connect and support each other. 

As Young People’s Ambassador for the hospice Jess has taken opportunities to speak to the Mayor of Bath about her work, and the Daily Mail about her experience of childhood bereavement and her role.

The Panel, who were unanimous in their selection, commented:

“We are thrilled and moved to recognise Jess’s achievement on becoming a Young Ambassador. Thank you, Jess, for your dedication and hard work.”

Find out more about the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Graham Stone, Thames Hospice, was the winner of the 2023 Volunteer Gardener of the Year award
Graham Stone, Thames Hospice

Volunteer Gardener of the Year Award


Winner: Graham Stone, Thames Hospice

Hospice gardens across the country are places of reflection and bring joy to staff and visitors alike. 

Graham has gone beyond his gardening role, playing an important part in the hospice’s outpatient services, facilitating therapeutic gardening activities for patients and offering companionship.  

Graham also works with the local community holding workshops with schools who visit the hospice to participate in gardening activities and learn about hospice and palliative care. And as a regular speaker about the work of the hospice and its gardens, Graham helps to raise awareness and secure financial donations.  

The Awards Panel agreed Graham’s commitment and impact are outstanding:

“We are incredibly grateful that are people like Graham to provide comfort, compassion, and knowledge to people receiving hospice care and their loved ones. The connection between the volunteer gardeners and the therapeutic impact that they have on patients and families is deep and powerful. Well done Graham.”

Find out more about the Volunteer Gardener of the Year Award.