Published: 13:32, 13 August 2019
| Updated: 16:42, 13 August 2019
A dedicated volunteer who helped in Thanet for almost 50 years died in a car crash at the weekend.
Marie Hepburn, who worked with various groups across the Isle including the QEQM Hospital's League of Friends, died in hospital in London yesterday.
She was involved in a crash in Broadstairs when the Nissan Micra she was driving collided with two other cars in Northwood Road.
Marie, 86, managed the tea bars at the QEQM in Margate from 2006.
She volunteered at the hospital for 24 years after starting out helping in 1995.
In 2008, she started running the trolley service alongside managing the two tea bars and she also ran the League's shop.
Earlier this summer, Marie was invited to a garden party hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace to recognise her dedication to helping others.
She started voluntary work in Thanet when she moved to the area 47 years ago, giving up her time to help Victim Support and the Royal British Legion.
Fellow volunteers who worked with Marie at the QEQM described her as "an institution" at the hospital, where a book of remembrance will be placed in the tea bar and shop.
Jeremy Voizey, chairman of the League of Friends at the QEQM, said: "Marie was truly remarkable and a wonderful source of inspiration. Her dedication and wholehearted commitment to her voluntary work never ceased to amaze us all.
"She will be very sorely missed indeed, not just by her fellow volunteers but by the entire hospital."
Marie was presented with a commemorative badge in 2008 to celebrate her service to the QEQM in a ceremony organised by East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT).
Trust chief executive Susan Acott said: "Marie was a real stalwart and a much-loved member of the QEQM family.
"She devoted so much of her time to volunteering, both for us and elsewhere in the community, and her death is a huge loss to us all.
"Our thoughts are with her family and her very many friends and colleagues."
The party at Buckingham Palace in May was attended by Her Majesty and other leading members of the Royal Family.
Speaking at the time, Marie said: "I couldn’t do what I do without having such a wonderful team of fellow volunteers around me.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience attending the garden party, seeing members of the Royal family up close."
Mr Voizey praised Marie at the time saying the recognition was "richly deserved" who worked "tirelessly" to make sure the trolley services, shop and tea bar ran smoothly.
The crash involved the Micra, a silver Honda Civic and black Audi Q5 at the junction of The Silvers and Northwood Road at about 3.30pm on Saturday.
A 42-year-old man, from Broadstairs, who was driving the Honda was arrested at the scene initially on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was later released while inquiries continue and remains under investigation.
Police are continuing to appeal for information and dashcam footage from witnesses who might have seen the vehicles before the crash.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01622 798538, quoting reference HW/DS/83/19, or email email@example.com