Peter – Fundraising Volunteer & Ambassador

“It is so worthwhile for people to put in their time in to help St Clare because the Hospice services are just phenomenal. Society simply couldn’t do without hospices.”

“Volunteering in the local community is hugely important to me, and is a big part of my life. I have always enjoyed organising events for various charities over the years since my retirement, including the Red Cross and the local Poppy Appeal, and I was a trustee for the Essex Community Foundation for 15 years. In fact, my wife jokes that I must stop saying ‘yes’ to people! Yet, I love the voluntary sector. In the past 5 years, I have been giving my time and skills to St Clare.”

“I started off organising a charity fair in Theydon Bois in aid of St Clare. We did that for three years with great success, alongside the annual Manuden Charity Lunch which we have run for four years now. It’s a great event, with a really good feel – people come knowing they’re going to get a fantastic meal! We’ve raised £7,000 from the lunch over the years, and it’s all gone to a local cause which is such an essential part of the local community.”

“Fundraising for St Clare is a real team effort. I’ve built strong relationships with members of staff on the fundraising team – which makes such a difference. Everyone has got different skills, and we all work together to raise as much as possible in vital funding for the Hospice.”

“It’s really humbling to be helping St Clare – a charity that offers compassionate care and support for local people in the communities we live in. I have always been a huge supporter of the hospice movement since my first wife sadly died in 1983. At that time, there was virtually no support or hospice movement, so families were on their own.”

“15 years later in 1997, my sister also received a life-limiting diagnosis. She was cared for by a hospice in the Isle of Wight who offered us wonderful care and support for the whole family. The difference that their support made to all of us throughout our journey was amazing. That’s why I support St Clare.”

“I feel that the hospice movement deserves all the help it can get because it doesn’t rely entirely on government funding – people have to raise the money to keep it going and to help it develop and reach even more people in need of support.”

“It is so worthwhile for people to put in their time in to help St Clare because the Hospice services are just phenomenal. Society simply couldn’t do without hospices.”

“At St Clare, it feels like a small community in itself. It’s hugely rewarding knowing that I am helping a charity who cares for all the people around me, where I live. I love it because it’s local – you know people who have received the service. You also know that a high percentage of what you raise goes directly on care – in fact, 89p of every £1!”

“There is an incredible amount of goodwill out there for St Clare. When I am out in the community, asking for raffle or auction prizes or things like that, people are so generous.  People come to our events because they know it’s for St Clare.”

“A tremendous number of people do have this instinctive regard for the hospice movement, and they realise that almost everyone in the country has known someone who has had a life-limiting illness.”

“With the aging population in the UK, the problem with people being able to find care for our loved ones and ourselves is only going to get bigger. Therefore, hospices need to be able to expand their services and the range of things they can offer, so that they can meet that demand and everyone can have access to the support they need.”

“The need is there, and hospices need all the support they can get. Everybody has a skill of some sort – personal skills, organisation skills, selling skills, administration skills. Spending a few hours here and there, helping a voluntary organisation, is well worth doing to help keep these vital services running and to utilise those personal skills of yours.”

“For me, I do it because of my own experiences in my family. I know the difference between not having hospice care, and having it. I have seen first-hand the difference it makes when you are facing one of life’s most difficult journeys.”

“It’s very easy, particularly when we are younger, to spend our lives thinking that illness and death will ‘never happen to me,’ but the truth is that it can, and it does at any age. As you get older in life, you know that one day, sooner or later something might happen – it is a fact of life.”

“Yet, I think that everybody has those anxieties about death and dying. It is natural and normal to worry about it, but the hospice movement is there specifically to provide help and support for people who are coping with a life-limiting illness. I think it is so important to understand that Hospices are not scary places, they are not dark and dingy or somewhere where you just go to die – they are about celebrating life and living.”

“People tend not to realise that a lot of hospice care is out in the community and St Clare has a Hospice at Home team now, too. Rather than being an inpatient, stuck on a ward somewhere. people are enabled to remain at home with full support for them and their family according to their needs.

“My words of encouragement to someone who is feeling anxious about coming to a hospice would be to go and have a look. Get involved, go and talk to people, and come and see for yourself what it is really like.”

“As a volunteer Ambassador for St Clare, one of my biggest goals is to effectively communicate the true nature of hospices – what they do, what they stand for, and what the ambiance is like.”

“I always do an introduction at my events to tell people all about St Clare. It’s so important to try to get people involved, and simply talking about it can be a really powerful way of dispelling fear about hospices and showing them just how essential a service it is in the community.”

“When you first walk in to St Clare, it feels very informal and relaxed – it’s got homeliness about it, and is warming and welcoming. However, behind the scenes is an extremely professional and caring team who work very hard to offer people the support that they need.”

“Death and dying is an inevitable part of life, so at some point you or a family member might need hospice care and support. My question is: why not dedicate a few hours to try to help your local hospice achieve their targets, so that when you are in need, they can be there for you?”

– Peter

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