National Volunteers' Week 2019 - Rita Gersh
Rita Gersh, 72, from Ilford, has been volunteering at the Hospice for a decade. Not only has she worked on reception every week for 10 years, but she also set up the charity's choir in 2012, which has since raised £35,000.
Having been singing for most of her life, Rita approached the Hospice's chief executive with the idea of setting up the choir seven years ago. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, performing regularly at fundraising events, for patients at Christmas and even taking part in recording a Hospice charity single at Abbey Road. Rita helped to secure the musical director and pianist for the choir, both of whom also volunteer their time to the charity.
She said: "I was looking to do something that would make a real difference and have certainly found this by volunteering at the Hospice. On reception, I have contact with patients and their families and can see what an incredibly special place it is. Obviously you do see sadness working here, but there is immense positivity too. It is extremely satisfying being part of this team and the work we do here."