Why I love volunteering

Pearl Osborne is one of our volunteer heroes whose extraordinary kindness has helped raise funds for the hospice and spurred on exhausted marathon runners.
Pearl Osborne at London Marathon event with Fundraising team to cheer on runners (cropped)

But that's not all, Pearl regularly joins our ambassadors in the community to spread the word about our services and lend a friendly ear when people needed it the most.  

Here Pearl shares her experience about becoming a volunteer and how it has changed her life.  

I first became involved with Saint Francis Hospice through my friend Julie whose husband Dee was cared for at the hospice in 2010.  

I did the Star Walk for the first time as part of Julie's team in 2011 and in 2015 I was asked to join Julie's team for a photoshoot at the hospice for the Star Walk that year.  

After that I was asked if I could be a cheerleader for the London Marathon.

Thus lead to me getting involved in lots of different events - the big ones and the small ones!  I was at this year's London Marathon to cheer on the hospice runners and it was such a fun day out.  

Pearl Osborne with the ambassadors at Mercury Mall

These days most runners have their names on the front of their vests and if you see someone who looks like they are flagging it is nice to shout out and encourage them.  

As well as events, I also help the ambassadors in the community by manning the hospice stands and talking to people.  

                            Pearl (third from right) with the fundraising team                                         at the London Marathon

I have lost both my mum and dad to cancer and when people come up to talk to me and tell me about their loss I have a sympathetic ear.  

I do not go to work because I have depression and anxiety and volunteering does me good as I feel I am helping people - something good is coming out of something negative.  

I also volunteered at this year's Havering Show and Frankies Car and Bike Fest.   

Pearl Osborne with the ambassadors at Mercury Mall

Leading up to the Havering Show I collected bits and pieces for the children's Lucky Dip. I bought 58 things in total and it raised £58 for the hospice.

It didn't cost me £58 and it was no big deal for me to do it.

                                       Pearl with our ambassadors at the Mercury Mall

I know people do events and raise a lot more money but it was really nice when the ambassador Linda Frost told me how much care that money had paid for at the hospice and how even small amounts can really make a difference. 

A lot of people still think of a hospice as a scary place but it isn't at all.  

Everyone I meet at the hospice is very friendly and welcoming and it's like being part of a family.