St Mary's Hospice @stmaryshospice
On Thursday 14th July St Mary’s Hospice hosted a “Volunteers Appreciation Event” to thank all our long serving volunteers. We had cake, tea, coffee and chatter! We wanted to personally show how much we appreciate the time and effort our long serving volunteers have given us so loyally for over 15 years. We had the opportunity to chat and find out some interesting stories as to why our volunteers choose to do what they do:
Linda Knott, one of our Bereavement Support Volunteers: “I just love it here at the Hospice, I have been Volunteering for many years and what we do here is a true gift to people. A wonderful place with wonderful volunteers, I find it very rewarding; it’s a privilege and honour to say I volunteer at St Mary’s Hospice. I will never forget my first day; the first lady I met will always stay with me. I would recommend volunteering to anyone. If you have that thought just go for it, by be prepared for training, it’s the most worthwhile thing I have ever done; it’s gained me lots more confidence.”
Another volunteer we had the pleasure of meeting was Wendy Dickson, who volunteers- in our Day Services -. “My husband sadly passed away here 20 years ago and ever since I have felt drawn to the hospice, I wanted to give something back. I enjoy volunteering for the hospice very much, it’s very sociable and I get to meet and know new people. I have one very fond memory and - when I used to bring my pet with me, a border collie, he grew very attached to one of the patients and would always sit beside him during sessions. I strongly recommend volunteering to anyone who is thinking about it, I never want to miss a day now I am here. It’s talkative, friendly and welcoming.”
Jennifer Dixon - also volunteers in Day Care and helped set up our shop on Market Street: “My mum died from cancer when I was just 12 and there was nothing, no support at that time. St Mary’s is a smashing place so that people are not on their own. One of my favourite memories is that I was lucky to be here when Princess Diana visited. She was so lovely, everyone was on a high! I’ve got a lot of tales to tell over my time here! But I really feel like I am doing a worthwhile thing, and you get to know people. They’ll feel better, you will feel better. I feel lifted and have helped somebody else along the way. Just recently a sunbeam singer sang ‘The White Rose of Anthens’ at a Day Care session, the patients all enjoyed it and she sang it beautifully for me, I was so touched.”
Lynda Shrubb, Dalton Shop Volunteer said: “I wanted to work for a charity I believed in. I have done so many roles during this time in the Hospice shop – from the till, sorting clothes and donations to steaming the clothes, tickets etc. I’ve met some lovely people over this time and it has been great company.” Lynda adds: “I like coming in, I feel sane when I leave!! Be prepared for hard work but it is really worth it and I really feel like I’ve enjoyed it.”
Volunteer Trustee Dudley Clarke gave a lovely speech, including: “It’s lovely to see people I know. For me it’s great to be in a team that can make a difference to people’s lives. I have found that volunteering gives back as much as you give. By this I mean that while the work that you do in shops, in the care units, in day services, in the gardens and at the events, is all vital to the care we deliver to patients, for us too, as volunteers, it can mean so much. It can mean friends, a daily or weekly commitment, conversation , a task to carry out as well as you can, people to meet, expectations to live up to, a sense of purpose. And these are just my thoughts.You will have your own.
On behalf of the trustees, the staff, over 300 volunteers and innumerable patients, thank you, each one, for your what you have done to help us to have this wonderful hospice that we have today.“
Anne Atkinson, Volunteer & Community Engagement Lead says: “People volunteer in different ways and for different reasons at different times in their lives. Whatever the reason people volunteer for us, we really try to be supportive and caring as we appreciate the time given.We know that the time given makes a big difference.“
Inspired to volunteer? Please visit our volunteering section or contact our Volunteering team on 01229 580305.