New Year Honours: British Empire Medal for 'completely selfless' Princess Alexandra Hospital volunteer Jo Busson
A volunteer who has helped Princess Alexandra Hospital patients enjoy precious video calls with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic was recognised in the New Year Honours.
Joanne Busson, one of the original members of the virtual visiting team at the Harlow hospital, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community.
She has volunteered in a variety of roles, including as a Butterfly volunteer through the PAH NHS Trust's (PAHT) partner charity, the Anne Robson Trust, which offers a comforting presence for patients nearing the end of their lives.
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, Joanne joined the virtual visiting team, setting up video calls and delivering messages to patients from their family and friends via the 'Message to a Loved One' service.
"I feel incredibly honoured to have been awarded such a special and prestigious award," she said.
"Through my various volunteering roles I've met and volunteered with numerous teams of like-minded, can-do staff, trustees and volunteers who tirelessly give their time and energy to making positive change happen and all worthy of such recognition."
Phillipa Haslehurst, voluntary services manager at the PAHT, added: "Five days a week Joanne volunteered, delivering the Messages to a Loved One and managing the virtual visits made every day.
"Her compassion and care are second to none and she is completely selfless.
"Without her contribution, the services would not have been as successful as they are today and her kindness is genuinely embedded and instrumental in their provision."