Tireless ESNEFT volunteer royally recognised for work with cancer patients
A volunteer who spends hours helping our patients at Colchester Hospital’s Cancer Wellbeing Centre, has been recognised by royalty for her work.
Shirley Cochrane, from Copford, was one of only 490 recipients of the Queen’s Platinum Champions award, and the only person from north Essex to be given one.
A cancer patient at Colchester Hospital herself, Shirley who has been clear of bilateral breast cancer for five years, said: “It was a shock to be nominated and to be selected from more than 3,000 nominees was incredible.”
Shirley, who also founded and runs the Colchester Cancer Choir, as well as volunteering for Macmillan and Cancer Research UK, said: “Having gone through cancer myself I wanted to get involved helping others who were beginning their (cancer) journey and were feeling a bit scared.
“Over the years I have also gone and met people privately and help them to get through the initial stages.
“Being a volunteer incredibly rewarding. Not everyone has the same voice as I did – I was quite vocal during my treatment – and people can feel so vulnerable, not knowing what to do.”
As part of the celebrations, Shirley attended the Party at the Palace Jubilee celebrations and has received a certificate and pin to recognise her award.