A grandmother who has devoted more than 20 years to helping patients with life limiting illnesses has won a community hero award.

Pat Slaughter, 82, from North Watford volunteers for Peace Hospice Care by helping in the impatient unit serving meals and helping to support patients and their families.

Mrs Slaughter began to help at Peace Hospice when one of her friend was holding fundraising auctions for the charity.

She was also working at Marks and Spencer’s at the time and learned about the work Peace Hospice Care does as the company had chosen it as their charity of the year.

Peace Hospice Care is a charity that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and families facing a life limiting illnesses by providing care and support.

Mrs Slaughter’s work in the care unit includes organising performances at the Hospices to help lift community spirit.

She said: “We have a pearly show with songs and a Christmas show. Volunteering has now just become a way of life. I’m so invested in the welfare of our patients and making sure that we can continue to provide care. I absolutely love it.

“We have seen a lot of changes over the year and it is all so lovely. I’m passionate about what I do and that is why I have been here for so long.

“You’re hands-on with patients and their families – what you give out, you get back.”

When told she had won our community award, Mrs Slaughter said: “I am very honoured to be this week’s community hero, although we do not do it for recognition.

“The most important thing is Peace Hospice Care are noticed for the amazing work they do for patients and their families.”

Peace Hospice Care chief executive Declan Carroll said: "Pat has provided incredible continued support to Peace Hospice Care for over twenty years. "She not only volunteers weekly in the impatient unit but also does her own fundraising for us.

"It is a phenomenal contribution of Pat and all our volunteers that we can continue delivering care and support to our community."