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‘Why I volunteer for St Richard’s’

5th June 2017

A dedicated volunteer is marking more than a year since he began donating his time to St Richard’s Hospice.

Clive Willcox, who lives in Fernhill Heath, became a hospice volunteer in 2016 after his wife, Val, was cared for by staff at St Richard’s.

Mrs Willcox was 64-years-old when she died at the hospice after developing metastatic melanoma.

After his wife died, Mr Willcox began attending STEPS – a support group which offers 12 social sessions for bereaved people.

The 67-year-old volunteer went on to help set up Next Steps, a supplementary social club for bereaved people who have been supported by St Richard’s.

Since Next Steps started in October 2016, the group has gone from strength to strength and now has around 40 members who enjoy a range of activities from ten pin bowling, to day trips and meals out.

Mr Willcox, who is chair of the group, said: “Next Steps is taking off, there is something going on every week. It is a lot of work but in saying that, I do get a wonderful sense of satisfaction.”

Mr Willcox also volunteers with the fundraising team at St Richard’s, coming in to the office once a week to help out and works on reception twice a month.

St Richard’s is celebrating the tireless work of its volunteers – such as Mr Willcox – as part of national Volunteers’ Week, which runs from Thursday 1 June to Wednesday 7 June.

A ‘thank you’ board has gone up in the reception area at the hospice in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, and a cheese and wine evening will be held on Friday 9 June in appreciation of their hard work supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families over the last year.

“In this world there are givers and takers – and I was brought up to be a giver by my parents,” said Mr Willcox.

“Volunteering, for me personally, is not just giving something back because they looked after my wife but this place gives back to me a sense of need – a sense of being required.

“In a weird sort of way, it does more for me than I can do for it.”

Nearly 1,000 active volunteers help support every aspect of St Richard’s life – from working in charity shops to supporting patients in their own homes 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.

For more information about Volunteers’ Week visit volunteersweek.org

Any bereaved person who has previously been supported by St Richard’s who is interested in joining the Next Steps group is asked to contact the hospice’s Family Support Team on 01905 763963.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.