This Volunteers’ Week we say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all 870 of our amazing volunteers who give their time, expertise and life skills in every aspect of St Richard’s.
These hospice heroes volunteer in 23 different roles across the organisation – everything from gardening and reception to counsellors, complementary therapists, in our shops and administration – and so much more!
Last year these fantastic people gave 98,000 hours of their time to St Richard’s!
During this Volunteers’ Week, we’re sharing inspiring stories from just some of our incredible volunteers. Click the names below to read their volunteering stories.
For hospitality volunteer Simon Beckley, who helps in our In-patient Unit, hospice care is very close to his heart.
Simon was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and it returned in 2020. Now recovered and back in good health, Simon wanted to give back to others and help where he can.
“Unfortunately, I know how short life can be, because of this and my own experiences I want to support people and make a difference to people’s lives. I’m fortunate that I am able to make some free time to come and spend my spare time at St Richard’s.
“I’m working in with the St Richard’s hospitality team. This involves working closely with the kitchen staff and meeting and greeting our lovely patients to take their food requests for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“This part I particularly enjoy the most as I’ve already had the opportunity to meet some incredible people!
“The hospice is wonderful. It really feels like you’re in a home and everyone is family, every single person I have met is so lovely and makes you feel so welcome.”
“St Richard’s has been part of my life and in my heart since 2000.”
These are the words of dedicated volunteer, Marilyn, pictured here, second from right, with St Richard’s staff at Worcestershire Pride in 2019.
Marilyn remembers going to see the late Princess Diana visit the first St Richard’s base in Worcester in 1989 close to where she was then working at the old Worcester Royal Infirmary.
She started volunteering 20 years ago, helping in the then Day Hospice and later Living Well Centre – a role she says she found most enjoyable.
Over the years Marilyn has turned her hand to many roles including driving, home visits to patients, and supporting families. During the pandemic Marilyn volunteered via Zoom to help with online groups such as Tai Chi, book club and a quiz.
She’s now back visiting patients in their homes as a Community Volunteer which ‘is very rewarding and appreciated’.
“My love of meeting people face to face started in 1973 as a receptionist at Worcester Royal Infirmary, Castle Street, and continues in my role as a St Richard’s volunteer. I feel it is rewarding for everyone involved and many strong bonds are formed.
“The hospice is more relaxed than a hospital setting and patients benefit from the time volunteers can spend with them which nurses don’t always have. I have heard people say that when they walk in it feels like a pair of caring arms enfolds them.”
“I really enjoy myself working as a volunteer at the Lowesmoor shop, and it’s a very good team to be part of.”
So says Shakeel, who has volunteered at the hospice shop in Worcester for the last 10 years.
He’s taken on all sorts of roles over the years, and now spends his two sessions a week mostly working on the tills.
“Working here is a good way of giving back to the community, passing my time and keeping fit. The main reason I’m still volunteering is that I really enjoy it.”
Shakeel is just one of our amazing 428 shop volunteers who we are celebrating this Volunteers’ Week.
Dedicated volunteer Rosalie has turned her hand to many roles in the Living Well Centre over the last 11 years.
The former nurse supports the Living Well team with everything from helping run tai chi classes, horticultural and craft sessions to courses for patients to manage symptoms.
“The whole care and support for patients and families is amazing.” said Rosalie, pictured with Living Well volunteers Steve and Heather.
Head of Living Well Services, Charlotte Nicholls, said: “We really wouldn’t be able to provide the care that we do for patients and carers without the unfailing support of our volunteers – thank you.”
“The reason I volunteer is quite simple – I love helping and feeling part of a team.”
So says Lynn, who started volunteering in one of our charity shops in Worcester almost 20 years ago.
Over the years Lynn has taken on all sorts of roles including helping the fundraising team such as selling raffle tickets at the rugby, serving teas at events, marshalling and office admin.
“I started because I had some free time on my hands and wanted to help St Richard’s as I’d met so many people who volunteered and were so positive about the hospice.
“I’m still volunteering after all this time because everyone has become like a family member and we have so much fun and support each other.
“I also see how much we help the hospice grow and support patients and families.”
- If you’ve been inspired by our volunteers’ stories, you can find out more about joining the team on our website. We’d love to hear from you!