Tributes paid to Judie, a “remarkable” hospice volunteer of 30 years

Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have paid tribute to a well-loved volunteer, Judith ‘Judie’ Allen, who sadly passed away in September aged 69 and dedicated her time and skills for 30 years. The hospice estimates that Judie, through her countless hours of volunteering, supporting and fundraising, helped to raise an astonishing £300,000 for Sue Ryder.

Staff and fellow volunteers have been honouring her memory by sharing dedications in a special book, while four of her friends did a charity walk to remember her.

Judie, from Market Deeping in Lincolnshire, started volunteering and raising vital funds for the hospice in 1990, the year before it opened its doors to patients.

Over the next three decades, Judie tirelessly helped to raise thousands of pounds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and its compassionate palliative care and bereavement support.

“Judie's passion shone through”

Alongside her husband David, a fellow hospice volunteer, Judie was a committed member of the fundraising ‘Onwards Group’.

Judie and the other members raised money through a variety of events and activities, including car boot sales, ‘nearly new’ sales, quiz nights, tombolas, treasure hunts, fairs, raffles and coffee mornings.

A keen knitter and creative crafter, Judie organised annual sponsored knitting events for 25 years. She also sold raffle tickets at Peterborough Greyhound Stadium.

Affectionately known as “the book lady” thanks to her regular sales of second-hand books, Judie even continued to fundraise during the first lockdown earlier this year, selling them from her front garden.  

Manning the Coffee Shop

Since 2004, Judie also played a key role in the hospice’s Coffee Shop, run entirely by volunteers.

As Coffee Shop Supervisor, Judie led a hard-working team of about 30 volunteers.

Together, they served food and drink to visitors, families and patients, and raised funds that went towards the hospice’s expert care.

Judie, who used to work for British Gas, also volunteered on the specialist palliative care inpatient unit in the evenings, serving drinks and spending time with patients.

Paying tribute 

Allison Mann, Hospice Director of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice said:

“All of us here at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice want to extend our deepest sympathies to Judie’s husband David and her family and friends. Judie was a dedicated and devoted volunteer who gave so much to our hospice.

“We are very thankful for her outstanding contribution and commitment over the past 30 years, from tirelessly raising vital funds to manning our Coffee Shop and being there for patients and their families. She was a well-loved friend and colleague and a familiar face to many in our local community. She will be greatly missed.”

Martin Russell, Head of Support Services at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said:

“Judie was hard-working and always went over and above – she was the first one to arrive and wouldn’t go home until everything was done. She was very kind and thoughtful, for example she always bought all of the Coffee Shop volunteers an Easter Egg and a Christmas present.”

Joely Garner, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said:

“Judie was a remarkable lady, who helped to raise thousands of pounds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and made a big difference to the care we are able to provide. Judie's passion for our work shone through and she will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her. 

“Nothing ever stood in Judie's way – she'd always find a way to support the hospice, and even during lockdown took to selling books on her front garden.”

Lesley Jackson, a fellow hospice volunteer, co-member of the fundraising Onwards Group and Judie’s friend of 24 years, said:

“Judie and her husband David were always the first to volunteer their help. There is no-one who could replace her. Judie was so dedicated and there was a lovely joke that she was like a stick of rock – if you cut her down the middle, she would have Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice running through her.”

Four of Judie’s friends, Alison Toomey, Jackie Page, Elaine Rignall and Linda Dalton – aka The Sue Ryder Four Musketeers – celebrated her memory with a Walk to Remember in October, raising £750 for the hospice. They said:

“This was our tribute to Judie as we walked 5km in her memory. We hope that our small effort will encourage anyone who has witnessed Judie’s extraordinary dedication to Sue Ryder to donate a little to mark her achievements.”

Find out more information about Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, the expert palliative care they provide and other ways you can help to support them to be there when it matters.

Support the Walk to Remember in Judie's memory