Volunteer Visitor receives “League of Mercy” award

"They deserve a medal" is something we often say of those wonderful volunteers who have served their organizations and communities outstandingly. Sadly there are too few medals to go around!

By recommendation of The Thalidomide Trust Volunteer Visitor Rosslyn Hepple's name was approved by the trustees go the League of Mercy foundation for the award of: THE ORDER OF MERCY for her distinguished voluntary work over many years.

The League of Mercy Foundation has recently revived a distinguished award that was first given over a hundred years ago for voluntary service assisting in the relief of sickness and suffering. The award is for individuals engaged in work in the areas of care listed to people who have given marvellous voluntary service over a period of at least seven years. There are fifty awards of the League's prestigious Order of Mercy made each year.

Rosslyn has been invited together with a guest and a representative of the Trust to a ceremony at which my medal will be presented, this is to take place at The Mansion House in the City of London, on the afternoon of Monday 28th July 2014, by kind permission of the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of London.

**Update 11/09/2014**

Rosslyn has now received her Medal and has kindly written about her experience below:

We arrived at Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, on the afternoon of 28th July 2014. I was accompanied by, my husband Robert, our PA Lesley and Sue Brooks who represented the Trust. Lady Lingfield, the wife of the President of the League of Mercy, Lord Lingfield , greeted us on our arrival.

Lord Lingfield

The ceremony started at 2.30pm, there was twenty-five awards presented on the day, one by one in alphabetical order our names were called out and a brief description of why we were receiving the award was given to the audience. There is only one word to describe the experience of the day, “Amazing” it was incredible, I had the most wonderful day, I couldn’t contain how proud I felt, and to share it with those closest to my heart.

My husband Robert, our PA Lesley and Sue Brooks who represented the Trust, and myself.

If my parents were still alive they would have been overjoyed of my achievement, they gave me a good start in life and the values that have driven me.

Roz Hepple
Volunteer Visitor for the Thalidomide Trust

The History of the League of Mercy

The League of Mercy was founded on 30th of March 1899 by Royal Charter of Queen Victoria. It was instigated by the Prince of Wales who became its first Grand President. Subsequently two further Princes of Wales (George V and Edward VIII) succeeded him in this office; finally HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester took over.

The object of the League was to establish a large body of voluntary workers who would assist with the maintenance of voluntary hospitals and 'otherwise relieve sickness and suffering'. When the 1948 National Health Act abolished these hospitals, the League was quietly wound up after performing its task extraordinarily well for nearly half a century.

Central to the annual activities of the League was a notable ceremony at which about fifty people each received a medal known as the Order of Mercy. These were bestowed 'as a reward for personal services gratuitously rendered in connection with the purposes for which the League was established'.