Hospice celebrates Volunteers Week 2022

Gill Wendelken, John Freeman and Ann Stock crop
Written by: Michelle Nicholls

This Volunteer Week (1st - 7th June), Saint Francis Hospice is putting the spotlight on its incredible volunteers. Here its Commercial and Safety Director, Michelle Nicholls and its Voluntary Services Manager, Gill Wendelken, tell us why volunteers are the hospice’s greatest asset and how their kindness and dedication is helping the charity save around £1.5m every year.

 

Along with the thousands of people who so generously support our service, volunteers are our greatest asset.  Our volunteers gift their time, energy, experience and skills to contribute to the success of our services provided to the local community.


1st - 7th June each year is UK Volunteer Week and especially during this year, as we move into the ‘new normal’ world around us, this week gives us an opportunity to let our volunteers know how much we appreciate them, all year round. 


Over the last two years, whilst many of our regular volunteers shielded, or waited until their departments or shops reopened, we still had a number of people volunteering throughout the pandemic, including in our gardens, on our ward, with our bereavement support team and OrangeLine service, on reception and in voluntary services. 


We also had members of the public, who were furloughed from their jobs, helping our services too. 


Saint Francis Hospice has been so lucky; and we must ensure we never take our volunteers for granted.  Sadly, the pandemic did show us how quickly we can become parted from each other; and how important it is to keep in touch.


Our Chairman of Trustees, Peter Crutchett also wanted to say a special thank you to all our incredible volunteers by saying,

 

“Without the time and energy that the volunteers generously give, it would be necessary to recruit more staff to carry out those roles, which would increase significantly the cost of providing our services.  I am really pleased to see so many volunteers now returning after the challenges of living through the Covid19 pandemic, and we will greatly miss those who for various reasons have not been able to return.”


Before the pandemic we had around 1,000 volunteers and we sincerely hope to get back to that number as our services open up once again.  And we are so grateful to our volunteer workforce who provide thousands of hours to our service, which has a value of around £1.5m a year.


Finally, dear volunteer, thank you so much for everything you do.

team of volunteers

Become a volunteer

No matter how much time you can give, or what skills you have, volunteer at Saint Francis Hopsice and help make a difference for the people in our care.

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