A HEALTH assistant who worked for a hospice for a decade was recognized in the New Year’s honors list.
Caroline Austen, 66, of Lewes, who provided end-of-life care at St Peter and St James Hospice for ten years, is being honored for service to her community, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alongside her duties, she has organized fundraising events, raising over Â£ 100,000 and, during the pandemic, has sought ways to improve the quality of staff support, approaching local businesses to donate soothing skin care products to reduce the effects of regular, rigorous hand washing and wearing PPE.
She also selflessly lived alone during the first lockdown so that she could continue with her chores and protect her protective husband.
For her work and efforts, she was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).
Ms Austen said: âIt is an honor to work in St Peter and St James. When I first came here to visit a dying friend, I felt like arms were circling me as soon as I walked through the door.
“I feel so passionate about what I do and by fundraising, I feel like I am giving back some of the pleasure I get from caring for our patients, knowing that the money raised will be used to improve their lives. and that of others in the future. ”
Jeremy Fox, 79, of Patching, also receives a BEM for his service to the community of Littlehampton.
Mr. Fox devoted 20 years to the Littlehampton Sea Cadet Management Board, some of whom went on to have successful careers in the Navy.
He also ensured the success of the Town Hall of Clapham and Patching, with his finances strong enough to allow for improvements including a designated car park and security system, and also ran the Clapham store and post office with his wife until his retirement in 2015.
He said it was vital to protect these spaces as they remain important in the community despite changes in society.
âWe have a lot of old people who don’t see anyone for a long time, and when you run a village store and a post office, we used to have people every day to do the grocery shopping because that was the only time on the day they saw someone, âhe said.
Although he was flattered by the price, Mr Fox said he was tempted to turn down the BEM.
He said: âI really don’t think I deserve it. I can quote you a dozen people who do more than me or that I have done. However, my wife and son persuaded me to take it on behalf of the organizations I have worked for and for the people who work and are unrecognized.
For his work in the community, Malcolm Burwood, 79, of Haywards Heath was also awarded a BEM.
He volunteered in his village community of Danehill, as well as in the neighboring villages of Chelwood Gate and Furners Green over a period of 30 years.
His work dates back to the Great Storm of 1987, when he and his wife opened their home in the village to use their gas-heated hot water and stove to wash and prepare meals after a power failure.
He has also taken the lead in many social events within the village, including weekly breakfasts and bridge clubs, annual Burns Nights and celebrations to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Millennium, campaigned without break to raise funds for the upkeep and maintenance of Danehill Memorial. Hall while on the brink of collapse, and for ten years organized coach trips to Normandy, the Somme, Essex and Suffolk as part of the Sussex Air Crew Association, set up for veteran aircrews.
âA lot of them were widowed, so they were with their friends,â he said.
âWe even had the RAF crew participate in the 65th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. We attended the ceremony with Prince Charles and Camilla, and they said it was the first time they have seen ground crews as they normally see them in the air.
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