Celebrations are under way to recognise the dedicated work of nearly 1,000 volunteers across the St Richard’s Hospice community.
A ‘thank you’ board has been placed in the reception area at St Richard’s in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, to mark national Volunteers’ Week which runs from Thursday 1 June to Wednesday 7 June.
On Friday 9 June, St Richard’s will host a special cheese and wine evening for its volunteers in appreciation of their hard work supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families over the last year.
The aim of Volunteers’ Week is to champion the contribution that volunteers make to their communities – including those who offer a wide range of skills and talents across every area of St Richard’s Hospice.
John Bawden, Chairman of Governors at St Richard’s, said: “On behalf of all the patients and their families that we care for, I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who work so tirelessly in every area of the St Richard’s community.
“Without them it would be extremely difficult to fund the services and provide the support we give.”
More than 900 active volunteers help support every aspect of St Richard’s life – from working in charity shops and fundraising to supporting patients in their own homes, hospice administration and bringing their life-skills to support the compassionate care the hospice provides.
During the last financial year, volunteers gave up 143,506 hours of their time to help care for patients and families, saving the hospice £1,022,601.32.
A total of 26,739 of volunteers’ hours were given to patient services, saving the hospice £230,877.81.
Antony Deaves, aged 39, began volunteering after his wife, who died of secondary breast cancer in December 2015, was cared for by St Richard’s.
The dad-of-three is a hospitality volunteer and helps liaise between patients and kitchen staff taking patients’ orders from the hospice menu and relaying them to the kitchen before delivering their meals at lunch time.
He said: “When my wife first came here, she loved the way she could pick things off the menu. Seeing the caring side of the hospice, and how hard everyone works, I thought I would give up a day twice a week.
“I enjoy helping all the patients and all the families, because the last thing they want to worry about is getting food for their relatives.
“We offer them what is on the menu, but we also say if there is something you fancy that’s not on the menu, we can make it for you.
“Here the food is freshly cooked, it is all nutritious. We cater for all the relatives as well. It is a good place and everyone is friendly.”
Mr Deaves lives on Studley Road in Redditch,
A wide variety of volunteering opportunities are available at St Richard’s, with vacancies based at the hospice in Worcester and in its chain of shops. Other vacancies exist for volunteers who would like to support patients in their own community.
Volunteering offers an opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and build confidence and self-esteem. Apart from the wonderful gift of knowing your time is helping others, taking on a volunteer role at St Richard’s could help individuals gain transferable marketable skills that will help enhance anyone’s CV and career.
There are plenty of vacancies currently available and to find out more visit www.strichards.org.uk/volunteering
A special open day will be held at St Richard’s in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, on Friday, June 9, from 11am to 1pm, for anyone who wants to volunteer at one of the hospice’s shops. For more information, call Kirstie Smith, staff and volunteer recruitment officer, on 01905 763963.