Hello January, my old friend...

The Christmas decorations are back in the loft, and it's cold and dark outside. Your bank balance has taken a pounding, and you're struggling to fasten the button on your jeans. To top it off: summer seems a billion light-years away.


Either Father Christmas's elves have spent December in your wardrobe, naughtily restitching your clothes, or you're deep into a festive food and drink hangover. We suspect the latter — all while wondering what you're doing with your life.

Does this 12-monthly cycle sound familiar?


A top university professor calculated that Monday 20th January will be 'Blue Monday': the most miserable day of the year. It's drilled into us that January has to be the month of low expectations, self-berating, and cutting out vices — but it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom.


Here at Saint Francis Hospice, we have plenty of reasons to be cheerful! Namely, all of the wonderful volunteering opportunities that are up for grabs. Whether you're looking to upskill, change career, or simply help those who are less fortunate, now could be the perfect time for you to make an impact. Some of our older helpers volunteer to keep them on their toes during retirement. Many of our younger ones volunteer to add some oomph to their CV.


We all have something that we're great at. You can put your skills to good use, whatever they may be. Volunteers currently work on reception, at events, or among the wildlife in our tranquil gardens. There's the chance to get involved in photography, finance, maintenance, cake making, or driving patients to and from our grounds. Some of our volunteers work on OrangeLine, helping people who feel isolated, lonely, or are going through a bereavement.


By volunteering, you'll be making a huge difference to the lives of people living with life-limiting illnesses in your local boroughs.


If you'd like to find out more, please visit www.sfh.org.uk/volunteer, email volunteering@sfh.org.uk, or call 01708 758614.

If it's retail that you're interested in, then we'd love to see you at your local store, where you can meet some of our inspirational volunteers. Without them, our Hospice simply wouldn't be here.


"A year from now you may wish you had started today" — Karen Lamb, Author