Celebrating St Clare’s invaluable volunteers

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St Clare Hospice is celebrating national Volunteers Week by highlighting some of the many and varied ways its 550-plus volunteers support its work caring for local people with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their loved ones.
Two women chatting in the kitchen

From traditional roles such as helping in our Hospice shops, to newer positions such as our volunteer complementary therapists, the breadth of volunteering opportunities has grown over the past 25 years, with new roles introduced as the range of services we offer has expanded.

St Clare voluntary services manager Christine Crump said: “Throughout the year, our dedicated volunteers give 100,000 hours of their time to support the Hospice, engaging in every aspect of our work and helping us to extend the support we are able to offer not only to our patients but to their relatives and loved ones too.

“We are very lucky to be able to say that some of our volunteers have been with us from the very start when St Clare was founded in 1990, and it’s true to say that without this very special collaboration, we would not be able to sustain or develop the high level of care that St Clare has become renowned for over the past quarter of a century.”

One of the most recent volunteering roles is St Clare’s Community Friends, who were introduced as part of our Hospice at Home service to offer an extra pair of hands, companionship and practical help.

Community Friend Margaret Hopkinson visited the same lady every Monday for almost a year, keeping her company while her husband attended a regular hospital appointment. During her visits, Margaret would help write letters or potter in the garden.

“The lady I visited was in bed at home, and they both wanted her to have a visitor so she wouldn’t be alone all day,” she said.

“She was an interesting woman and we had lots of interests in common. She, like me, loved animals and gardening, so we always had lots to talk about. She was a brilliant artist and I felt so honored when she showed me her portfolio of work.

“When I left work, I really missed the daily interaction with people and, although I have lots of friends who I could meet for lunch or walks, I missed the routine and responsibility of work so volunteering was a good option for me.

“It feels so right for me to be involved in the local community, and volunteering for St Clare has also changed my idea of what a hospice can offer.”

If you have been inspired to volunteer for St Clare, you can find out more here.

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