A VOLUNTEER who helped hospital patients for more than six decades has been remembered with a permanent memorial.
Margaret Hardy, who was affectionately known as the Sweetie Lady, was a familiar face around Louth County Hospital as she visited as a League of Friends volunteer for 65 years.
Margaret died in May last year, aged 92.
Now, her fellow League of Friends volunteers have bought a bench in her memory to be placed outside the Urgent Care Centre, which is run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.
Margaret became involved with the League of Friends through her brother, John Luty, who was a founder member of the group.
Margaret’s niece Chris Freeland said: “This bench is something Margaret would really treasure. She would be really pleased with it.
“Margaret made such long-standing friendships with the people of Louth through her work. She knew all of the nurses and she got an awful lot back for what she did. She enjoyed doing it so much.”
Margaret’s dedication was recognised during her time as a volunteer when she was presented with the League of Mercy Medal at a ceremony at Mansion House, London, in 2005.
She also enjoyed a day at one of the Queen’s garden parties at Buckingham Palace after being nominated as a result of her work.
Margaret was best-known for the supply of sweets and chocolates she used to carry around with her – making sure she had a patient’s favourites when they were ever staying in hospital.
She would also visit people in their own homes to continue supporting their recovery.
Karen Kerman, LCHS’s Matron for urgent care, said: “Margaret was well liked by both staff and patients alike. We really appreciate the work put in by the League of Friends, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of those who use the hospital’s services.
“The bench is a wonderful gesture in Margaret’s memory.”