A parish nurse from Ely, who has given up more than 1,000 hours of her own time to care for vulnerable people across East Anglia, has been honoured with a new volunteering award by Prime Minister David Cameron.

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Claire Gillett received the Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Claire is the driving force behind parish nurse schemes across East Anglia and has played a key role in supporting the programme nationally.

She started volunteering as a parish nurse three years ago, following a long career in nursing. Parish nurses are organised by Christian churches and work with people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths to give moral support during medical crises, general health advice and signposting to other services.

The programme, launched in the UK in 2006 with 30 trained nurses, now have more than 94 working in parishes across the UK, 75 of whom are volunteers.

In her role as a parish nurse, Claire has visited hundreds of people recently discharged from hospital, hosted numerous health talks for local groups and has even inspired others to volunteer as parish nurses.

Claire said: “I am overwhelmed and honoured to receive this award. I am privileged to be able to combine my passion for nursing with my Christian faith.

“I pray that many other nurses will come forward to work in this role which reaches right into the heart of local communities and can transform lives.”

Visit www.parishnursing.org.uk for more information.

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