The volunteers at St John’s Hospice come from all parts of our community and get involved for lots of different reasons. Each of them make an impact on and contribute to our ability to be there for patients, their families and carers in a time of need.
Here are some of their stories.
Peter Whitehead – Volunteer Gardener
My wife volunteered here and encouraged me to take a look around. The timing to come and volunteer here all fell into place. I had retired to look after my parents and when sadly they passed away I realised I needed a new purpose; for me retirement isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. I need a drive, I need a purpose and when I came here to St John’s I realised ‘this is me’. This is the best place for me to be, I love my work here and as for my hours – well they are directed by what the plants and allotment need!
Pauline Davies – Volunteer Ward Assistant
I came here because people always have positive things to say about St John’s. I’d also done the Moonlight Walk and visited the May Plant Sale so I knew it was a nice place. This is a great place to volunteer as staff, other volunteers, patients and families really appreciate what you do. The Hospice has such an uplifting atmosphere, I find it a welcoming place to be and I’m tremendously encouraged by the work of the other volunteers and staff. My time here is nicely busy – whether that is keeping a kitchen area clean and tidy, helping to serve patients their food or making a cup of tea for a visiting relative. We all do a wonderful job!
June – Volunteer for St John’s Oak Centre Day Hospice
I had moved close by after retiring and I thought “I want to do something, I don’t want to be fed up at home.” So I came to a coffee morning at St. John’s and that was 15 years ago, I’ve been here ever since! In fact I’ve been helping at the Oak Centre Day Hospice since it opened. The people at St. Johns are lovely. I often think to myself “I feel happy to be here and feel like I’m making a difference to patients’ lives through my work.” Everyone knows it’s a serious place but it’s also a place where you can have a laugh with both patients and staff. My social life is based around the Hospice because I’ve made so many friends with other volunteers as well as the nurses and doctors. “We’re a big family at St. John’s!”
Allan Mills – Maintenance Team Volunteer
“Volunteering here at St John’s is brilliant. I love the fact that when you come in everyday there is something different to do. I can be fixing things on the ward, building a bike shelter or repairing anything around the hospice – it’s never boring. I don’t like a routine so this suits me down to the ground and it’s suited me for almost six years now.
I came here because I wanted to do something to help, when you know people who have passed away here or been helped here; you know you want to give back for what the Hospice has given others. I used to think that the Hospice treated only cancer patients but now I know differently because people come here for help with all sorts of illnesses.
I have recently lost a family member here recently so I truly appreciate the first class service this Hospice provides and it has made me appreciate even more how fortunate I am to be able to play a very small part of this wonderful Hospice team.
Volunteering here works for me, I feel appreciated and work with brilliant people and it nice to know that I am giving something back.”
Stephen Perry – Maintenance Team Volunteer
“Like many people one of my first experiences of St John’s Hospice was the Moonlight Walk; I offered to be a marshal or steward. The fundraising events are great fun and on one occasion I found myself doing a run in a grass skirt! For me St John’s was the obvious place to come to help. I know a few people who have come to the Hospice; some to stay for end of life care and some who come for treatment and go home again. I’ve always been impressed with the care and compassion you see here. When I started volunteering here I knew I’d made the right choice. Working with the maintenance team is perfect for me because there’s a lot of variety; from furniture removal, to collecting supplies from the Infirmary, to general repairs, painting and jobs like putting up shelves. The staff here are great too so I’m on to a winner! “
Veronica – Volunteer for St John’s Hospice Shops
“When I heard about the new shop opening at the Arndale in Morecambe I thought, “This is my opportunity – a new shop and a possible new role for me: we can start together!”
I’ve worked for a care organisation so of course I’d heard of St John’s Hospice and then I heard a presentation and thought, “I want to be part of that”. It’s good to be here because I can give to this wonderful charity and be part of something that makes a difference.
Getting the volunteer role has been absolutely amazing. I feel relaxed being at the shop and the people I work with are incredible. I really enjoy my time with customers – listening to what they want, where they want to put the furniture, their dreams for their home, why they like particular pieces – it’s lovely!”
Become a Volunteer
Our volunteers are incredibly special to us and save us over £1m every year; volunteers are always needed so if you can give just an hour a week do tell us!