National Volunteer Week 2021 at St Wilfrid’s Hospice
This year’s volunteers’ week seems one like no other we have known in all the years we have proudly worked. This is a time for reflection on the events of the last year or so and the impact this has had on us all, but also a time to look forward to the future with hope and optimism.
We have always felt passionately that the Hospice is a successful charity because of the people, and that includes each and every one of us, volunteers and staff alike. One of the main challenges of the pandemic has been the separation from the regular face to face contact with each other that we thrive on, and this has been difficult for us all to manage. The way that the staff have missed so many of our volunteers is testament to how much they are really an integral part of the team.
Throughout the period of the pandemic we have seen incredible flexibility from all of our volunteers in so many ways. No doubt we have all learnt to be more adaptable than we ever thought we could be! It has been so amazing to see how many of the volunteer roles have been able to continue, from the volunteers supporting the ward team and patients, the community support team, hospice visitors, gardeners, shop volunteers and so many others.
Keeping in touch with all of our volunteers has been really crucial during this time, and we would like to pay tribute to Emma and Lynn for their huge commitment in ensuring everyone has been supported and engaged. We’ve all felt a huge virtual hug from our volunteers, from far and wide.
We know some volunteers have understandably made a decision to leave their volunteering roles rather than return, and their support and work has been hugely valued. We have also been able to welcome many new volunteers to our team, and attracting volunteers from our community and increasing our diversity will be a key aim for us in the coming year.
There is no doubt the last year has been very difficult for many people, but we are now able to plan ahead and think about everything we have learnt about ourselves and each other, and how we can ensure our much needed services are even further improved. This will be much enabled by our volunteers, as the past year has proved to us beyond doubt what we already knew – how vital our volunteers are to our success and to the care we give to local people who need us.
Thank you all, for everything you do.
Alison Moorey, Chief Executive
Soline Jerram, Chair of Trustees
If you are interested in finding out more about a volunteering role to fit you call our Volunteers team on 01243 755815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat.
Maxine has been volunteering on the ward for the past four months now and has enjoyed her roles so much she is looking forward to the challenging but immensely rewarding Bereavement Support Volunteer role to come in the future.
“I’ve loved every minute of it here getting to know how it all works, getting to know the nurses and patients. I’ve experienced death first hand myself so I was well aware of the stages of grief and anxiety that comes with it so feel it is a real privilege that families let me in to help them with this is some small way.”
Maxine moved back to the U.K after 10 years living in the Middle East, and having experienced the death of family and family friends, was keen to volunteer for a role all about dignity and compassion.
“Dying is not something we should be shying away from talking about. It’s something we all have to deal with. I can certainly relate to the emotional trigger points with patients. I take great pride in being there to have pleasantly distracting chats about bunny rabbits, be a shoulder to cry on or simply make a hot chocolate when nothing else will quite do.
One of the most amazing things I’ve seen here is seeing this whole umbrella of services, such as symptom control and the work on home care plans with the wider healthcare community, all being delivered under such a relaxing atmosphere. Everyone has been so friendly and I’ve found the role so soul satisfying.”