Volunteering helps me raise awareness about a subject that's close to my heart

Holly Willis
Written by: Holly Willis

I reached out to Saint Francis Hospice at the start of 2020 as I wanted to volunteer by using my videography and editing skills in any way I could to help.


I've always been in awe of how amazing the Hospice is and have always wanted to volunteer - I originally contacted the charity to volunteer years ago when I was much younger!


A way to remember my Nan


I lost my Nan, Margaret, coming up to six years ago and on every birthday or anniversary, we love to come to the Hospice and light a candle and write in the Book of Remembrance.  We also have her name on the Memory Tree - all of these provide such peace to my family and it really helps in remembering my Nan.


Giving up my time and skills is just a small thing in comparison to all the other wonderful things the Hospice does for so many families. So, it was a no-brainer for me to want to help in any way I could to give back to this wonderful place.


Getting involved


When I met with the marketing and communications team, we were hoping I'd be able to film footage of the London Marathon and other events but of course the pandemic hit and so this got put on hold.


It wasn't until August 2020 that I was able to volunteer for the first time by shooting and editing the charity's Remembrance Service, alongside a local photography company, Smile More, who also kindly offered to volunteer their time. The special service was then put online for families to watch and remember their loved ones.


I film and edit for a living, so it has been really nice to be able to do it to help people with their grief. Grief awareness is a topic very close to my heart, so to be able to use what I love to do, to make a positive impact, is what it's all about!


Making the time for a good cause


Since then, I have worked on more projects. In December, I filmed and edited the annual Light Up A Life service. So far this year I've filmed the spring Remembrance Service and I'll soon be working on the summer service.  A typical shoot takes around about 3-4 hours and editing hours would usually be up to 10 hours in total.


Last year, I was mainly doing freelance work so I had a lot of spare time due to the pandemic - so it was easy to be able to offer my time to the Hospice. Now however, I am still freelancing and am in full time work so I'm definitely a lot busier! But for services moving forward, I can shoot them at the weekend and can also fit the editing in during that time too - so it's all manageable and I'm very happy to do it.


During my time volunteering at the Hospice, everyone I've met has been super lovely and it's been a privilege to work alongside them. I look forward to helping out more in the coming months!


Help the hospice


If you are inspired by Holly's story, and would like to get involved, click here to find our more about volunteering. 


To help people like Holly's nan, make a donation to our spring appeal. 


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