Special honour for hospice volunteer, 83, who trekked the Great Wall of China and climbed Machu Picchu

A woman who has volunteered at the Prince of Wales Hospice for over 35 years has been recognised for her work.

By Shawna Healey
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 4:07 pm
Over the years, June has trekked across the Great Wall of China and climbed a mountain in Machu Picchu for charity.
Over the years, June has trekked across the Great Wall of China and climbed a mountain in Machu Picchu for charity.

June Gill was awarded the Platinum Champion Award and the Unsung Hero Award in Wakefield District.

June is known for her dedication to volunteering, for her boundless energy and adventurous spirit.

For her 80th birthday she dressed up as Red Baron and wing walked an aeroplane to raise money for the hospice.

For her 80th birthday, June wing walked for the hospice dressed up as Red Baron.

June’s volunteering began in 1987 where she sold bricks for £5 to help establish the hospice which was much-needed at the time.

She said: “I lived in Castleford and nursing was close to my heart, so I felt that the idea of a local hospice was fantastic.

“Working full time as a nurse at Tibbett and Britten, I held raffles and dressed up in fancy dress encouraging more supporters.

“I sold donated toiletries and made sure unwanted items never went to landfill but used to raise money for hospice care.”

June has raised money for the hospice for over 35 years.

June’s efforts were heard by Prince Charles who granted permission to name the hospice in his name.

A spokesperson for the hospice said: “June’s passion and spirit have seen her volunteer at the Hospice’s numerous challenge events over the years.

“She attended white water rafting on the Zambezi River in Africa, she took part in painting walls of a children’s hospital in India and she has climbed a mountain in Machu Picchu. Peru to give books to children in need.

“She has even trekked across the Sahara Desert to Marrakech to feed babies in an orphanage and many more. All, because she wants everybody to feel supported.”

June added:”I enjoy volunteering. It keeps me going. I usually support the Hospice’s fundraising events with preparations, packing and serving refreshments.

I hold raffles and help in any way I can. I also love taking on a challenge and dress up in a silly costume to raise money for the Hospice.

“One of my biggest fundraising efforts was trekking the Great Wall of China, which raised £7,000.”

June was awarded with the Platinum Champion Award given by the Royal Voluntary Service.

She was one of the 70 Platinum Champions from the country – out of 3000 nominations - who was invited to the Platinum Party at the Palace in London on June 4 2022.

She explained: “I admire the royal family. I used to travel to London and camp outside the Palace to see the royal events.

“This time it was definitely different. I had the honour to be invited to the Oval in the Palace to receive my award, and had the opportunity to have a chat with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It was an amazing experience.”

June Gill is also one of the winners of the Unsung Hero Award for 2022 by the Community Foundation Wakefield District.