An afternoon cream tea
Saint Francis Hospice's volunteers are of all ages and from all different walks of life. The eldest of whom is Margaret Fitzpatrick.
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 85 years young, Margaret volunteers on our ward where she lovingly dotes on our patients.
On 26th June, we held a volunteer thank you event to recognise everything our volunteers put in. 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. CEO Pam Court and Chairman Peter Cruchett presented the long service awards — with some going back to when we first opened our doors in 1984.
820 volunteers give up 265,000 hours each year, which saves our Hospice £1.5m over 12 months. We aspire to have 1,000 of them by 2020. Without their kindness, selflessness and generosity, we simply wouldn't be here.
Our volunteers dedicate anything from one to thirty-five hours a week. We need people to do all different kinds of jobs, including retail, reception, fundraising, and gardening. Some work on OrangeLine, helping people who feel lonely, isolated, or are going through a bereavement.
"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
35 years of service: Mary Corley collects her gong
Give us a kiss: volunteer photographer Pete Henwood with Michelle Gower
Green fingers: Volunteer Gardener John Freeman scoops a long-service award
Mine! Volunteer Joyce Grant clutches her waffle-winning bottle of booze tightly
Smiles all round: Chris Franklin and Liberty Childs from fundraising
Speech! CEO Pam Court says thanks
Still volunteering at 85 years young: Margaret Fitzpatrick
Tea lady: Andrea Prout serves up the cream cakes
Teatime: Trusted volunteer 'Skip' does the honours
You're not alone: OrangeLine is just a phone call away