BURY Hospice has bade farewell to its longest serving volunteers.

Joyce Garnett and Mary Farrington have both volunteered at the hospice, which delivers medical care to people living with an incurable illness, for more than 27 and a half years.

And to say thank you for all their hard work and dedication, the hospice held a celebratory afternoon tea for the women on Tuesday, October 30.

The event was attended by staff and volunteers, and both ladies were presented with a commemorative plaque and flowers by hospice chairman Graham Yardley and trustee Noreen Kershaw.

Joyce, who attended the event with her husband, worked on reception, meeting and greeting patients during her time volunteering.

She said: “If the small part I have played over the years has enabled the doctors and nurses to give their wonderful care to patients and families, then I am proud to have helped.”

Mary, who also attended with her husband, has held various roles over her years of service including kitchen work and reception.

The hospice, in Rochdale Old Road, focuses on maximising the quality of time an individual has left, which is perhaps why Mary’s personal favourite role was helping in day services.

She said: “It was so satisfying to see how happy patients were at the end of a lovely day spent in the hospice.”

Graham Yardley the hospice's chairman said: “It is my privilege to be able to formally thank these wonderful women who have given the precious gift of their time for so many years. Everyone associated with Bury Hospice is truly grateful for their commitment and dedication.”