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An afternoon cream tea

Our volunteers are of all ages and from all different walks of life. The eldest of whom is Margaret Fitzpatrick.

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Margaret spent 30 years working as a Domestic at our Hospice before taking well-earned retirement at the age of 84. But she just couldn't keep away. Now, Margaret works as a volunteer on the inpatient unit, caring for our patients at 85 years young.


Our volunteer thank you event on 26th June was another chance for us to recognise everything they put in.


"I became partially sighted and had to retire, but volunteering gives me a purpose" Gary Fermar, Hornchurch Furniture Store


What better way to be suitably British on a hot summer's day than indulge in a tradition that dates back to the 11th century: afternoon cream tea. Our busy helpers, affectionately known as the "pinny ladies" (and some pinny gentlemen) did us proud, serving up refreshments, scones, clotted cream, and jam.


Pam Court, CEO, and Peter Cruchett, Chairman, presented the long service awards with some going back to when we first opened our doors in 1984.


"I was walking past the store one day, and something just pulled me in. It's the best thing I've ever done. We're one big family" Pat Ainsworth, Hornchurch Furniture Store


Our 820 volunteers give up 265,000 hours each year, saving the Hospice £1.5m over 12 months. We aspire to have 1,000 of them by 2020. We could not do what we do at the Hospice without their kindness, selflessness, and generosity.


"I live on my own, and when I retired, I was frightened. I didn't want to just sit at home. When you volunteer, your life opens up" Hazel Gibbs, Hornchurch Furniture Store


Our volunteers dedicate anything from one to 35 hours a week. There's scope to get involved in all areas of the Hospice: retail, reception, fundraising, gardening, and on OrangeLine helping people who feel lonely, isolated, or are going through a bereavement to name but a few.


"We've been on quite a journey, but we've never lost the heart of what we're here to do. It's through the absolute love of our volunteers that we are still here you are people who are so important. You were 35 years ago, you are today, and you will be for many years to come" Pam Court, CEO


The afternoon tea was a big thank you to our volunteers we would not survive without you.


"Thank you for all your help, care and kindness. Without you, there would be a hole in my life. You are all very much appreciated" Bob Ballantyne, a patient at Saint Francis Hospice


If you'd like to find out more about volunteering, visit www.sfh.org.uk/volunteering, email us at volunteering@sfh.org.uk, call 01708 758614, or pop into of your local charity retail stores.


"It keeps my brain going!" Joyce Grant, Receptionist and Fundraiser


Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

35 years of service: Maria Corley collects her gong

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

The cream of the crop: Andrea Prout serves up the cakes

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakesGive us a kiss: Volunteer Photographer Pete Henwood with Michelle Gower

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Mine! Volunteer Joyce Grant clutches her waffle-winning bottle of booze tightly

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Green fingers: Volunteer Gardener John Freeman scoops a long-service award

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Smiles all round: Chris Franklin and Liberty Childs

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Speech! CEO Pam Court says thanks

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Still volunteering at 85 years young: Margaret Fitzpatrick

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

Teatime: trust volunteer 'Skip' does the honours

Tea lady (colon) Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes

You're not alone: OrangeLine is just a phone call away

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