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Luen’s blog: A priceless gift of time

Our volunteers help us to fundraise, ensuring we have enough money to deliver our services. They help us run our shops by serving customers, managing our stock, merchandising and promoting the shop within the local community. They help us deliver services by befriending families, assisting in therapy sessions, supporting care in the home and providing and serving meals. And volunteers help us with some of our admin functions too, like manning the reception desk, counting money and making phone calls on behalf of nursing staff.

Volunteers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, add to our culture by being selfless and helpful, and ultimately, give us the gift of time, a gift that allows us to do so much more than we could do without them.

We actively measure the contribution our volunteers make by recording their hours and calculating the value of their contribution if we had paid them the national minimum wage. In 2018, this contribution was worth an incredible £469,565! But their contribution is worth so much more than savings and efficiencies. In truth, their gift is priceless.

As the first port of call for people new to the hospice, our reception volunteers make everyone feel welcome and ensure families in particular are comfortable, assisted promptly and get what they need. They do all of this with big smiles on their faces, helping to make our hospice the warm, friendly and supportive place our families deserve. For new families who may be dreading their first hospice visit, the welcome they get from these volunteers can make a huge difference.

Volunteers in our shops and at fundraising events spread awareness of what we do and how we do it, ensuring more of the general public know who we are and why we need their support.

Our care volunteers make sure there’s always a friendly face on hand and that some tasks can be completed without cost. Did you know, for instance, we have a wonderful crew of ladies who come in and do ironing for our families? Their gift gives families time to do something much more important, like play with their children, have coffee with a friend or just take a well-earned rest.

We know that not only do we benefit from having such wonderful volunteers to help us – there are benefits for them too. People volunteer with us for a variety of reasons, to get back into work, to gain skills, to get out of the house, to curb loneliness, to give something back, to make new friends, following a bereavement. And we try and accommodate their needs, whatever they are.

So thank you to everyone who volunteers for us. Your support is priceless. And if you are interested in volunteering, you can check out all our current volunteering opportunities here