Marilyn celebrates 25 years of volunteering

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Date published: Thursday 24 May 2018 | 16.53 GMT

A volunteer at St Clare is celebrating reaching the milestone of 25 years in service to our hospice!

Marilyn Coleclough (77 years from Debden) has been a fundraising volunteer at the Hospice since 1993. During that time Marilyn founded the Loughton Friends group which has fundraised a grand total of more than £180,000 for St Clare Hospice.

Marilyn first came into contact with the hospice movement when her husband, George, received care from both St Francis Hospice in Havering, and St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood.

Marilyn (far right) with attendees and supporters at the Sunflower Ball in 2010

Commenting on the care that her family received, Marilyn said:

“The support we had from both hospices was excellent. I felt at the time that I was fighting a losing battle, then the Calvary came riding in. The excellent care offered at the Hospice was second to none. It left a lasting impression on me as to what hospice care was all about.”

After George passed away, Marilyn decided to volunteer her time to helping raise funds for St Clare Hospice, to assist them in building their Inpatient Unit which opened in 1999. Marilyn said:

“I was invited to my first fundraising meeting at St Clare Hospice in late 1993, after I had donated an auction prize and was invited to the meeting as a guest. The fundraising group needed to raise £1.75 million to build an Inpatient Unit at the Hospice and that was the main item under discussion.”

Marilyn Coleclough was influential in forming the Loughton Friends fundraising group in 1994. The group operated until 2014 and in that time raised over £180,000 for St Clare Hospice.

Marilyn with the Loughton Friends group celebrating raising £100,000 back in 2008

Commenting on volunteering as a fundraiser, Marilyn said:

“Although the Friends group folded after 20 years, the support is still there today – and we are still raising over £2,000 a year with our Quiz Nights. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to make friends that are still with me today. For me, volunteering for St Clare has been my life for the past two decades, and I have loved every minute of it. Volunteering has given me back far more than I could ever have imagined. I call it the three F’s – Friendship, Fun and Fundraising!”

St Clare Hospice is celebrating national Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June) along with organisations, charities and communities across the UK. St Clare Hospice has more than 500 volunteers who are essential in helping us to maintain our standard of care and diverse range of services. Marilyn Coleclough will be amongst those honoured during the week at a number of Volunteers’ Week celebrations at the Hospice.

Marilyn (far right) with fellow volunteers at the 20th anniversary celebration of the opening of St Clare Hospice in 2010

Congratulating Marilyn on her 25 years’ service award, Rob Wallace, our Voluntary Services Manager, said:

“It is inspiring that Marilyn has volunteered for St Clare for so many years and that her efforts, energy, and team-working in her community, have led to an incredible £180,000 being raised over the past two and a half decades. We are incredibly grateful to Marilyn, and we want to offer her our sincere thanks and a huge congratulations on reaching such an amazing milestone. St Clare simply could not operate without the help of volunteers like Marilyn, who give their time and skills to make a difference to the Hospice and our patients.”

For more information about how you can volunteer with St Clare Hospice, visit our website at:www.stclarehospice.org.uk/volunteer or contact Voluntary Services Manager, Rob Wallace, directly on rob.wallace@stclarehospice.org.uk or call 01279 773722.

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