NHS volunteer’s milestone

Joan Hardcastle, 90, who has been a volunteer at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals for 40 years
Joan Hardcastle, 90, who has been a volunteer at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals for 40 years
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A hospital volunteer has celebrated her 40th anniversary of giving up her time to help patients.

Joan Hardcastle, 90, of Fulwood, Preston, has worked as a volunteer at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, for 40 years and has established a library service for patients.

Joan, who was awarded an MBE in 2001, collects donated books and takes them round the wards at Royal Preston Hospital and patients return them once they have finished with them.

Joan has actually been volunteering for the NHS for 54 years, working for 14 of those in the Midlands with the Womens Royal Volunteers Service (WRVS).

Joan said: “I have dedicated over half of my life to volunteering in the NHS. I really enjoy speaking to patients and providing them with something to read while they are in hospital.”

Stuart Heys, chairman at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It really is an amazing achievement to volunteer at one hospital for 40 years and marks a whole working lifetime.”