This week marks national volunteers’ week and while many of the activities planned to honour and recruit volunteers have been cancelled, one local charity is using the week to thank those who give up their time to support them.
Prospect Hospice relies heavily on volunteers to support them in a range of roles and knows that, without the support of so many, they wouldn’t be able to provide the level of care that they’re known for in the community they serve.
Su Starkey, head of voluntary services at Prospect Hospice, said: “We have around 900 volunteers who give their time to us to help support our patients in a variety of way. Our shops rely on them and they help generate around £2million each year to support our work. That’s an incredible amount when you think about it and we simply wouldn’t be able to do that without them.
“The roles covered by volunteers are so varied. We have people helping us in the hospice with serving patients their meals three times a day, driving patients to day therapy sessions, gardening and assisting with office based tasks. We have many who also help out in the community collecting donations from supporters and sitting with patients in their own homes, keeping them company while their carers do a bit of shopping or have some time to themselves.
“Volunteers are the heart and soul of the hospice and I want to say a huge thank you, on behalf of us all, to every single one of them.”
During this time each year, the hospice hosts an event to honour its longest serving volunteers and awards them with a certificate. This event usually takes place at the hospice and gives volunteers the opportunity to come together and meet others who also give their time to the hospice.
“We’re not able to host our long service awards as we normally would this year but that doesn’t mean we won’t be doing it,” said Su. “We’re embracing technology and will be taking our awards ceremony online this year and we’ll host our virtual ceremony on Friday to say thank you to those who are collecting their awards.”
At their long service awards this year, the hospice is marking the contribution of 40 volunteers who, between them, have contributed a staggering 520 years to help the charity.