June 1-7 was Volunteers’ Week, where charities celebrate their amazing volunteers across the country!
There are a lot of amazing people out there, and a lot of them volunteer for St John’s Hospice! Our volunteers work in many amazing roles across St John’s and we spoke to a few of them about their experiences
If you’re inspired to start volunteering with St John’s Hospice, more information, role descriptions and a sign up form can be found here!
Meet Courtyard Café volunteer – Greg
Greg has been volunteering in the Courtyard Café two times a week, since the café reopened last year. He does a bit of everything in the café – waiting tables, taking orders, washing up and more.
Greg said “I finished school and didn’t want to go straight to uni, so I started volunteering here. I like that it can be quite flexible while I work out what I want to do – I’ve got an offer to start at university in Birmingham next year, but I don’t know if I’m going to accept it yet, so I’ll be volunteering here for as long as I can!
“I like volunteering in the café because it’s a nice, relaxed place to work. You get to talk to lots of different people and everyone is always really friendly. I think it’s rewarding to volunteer – you get to make a difference, and I think that’s really helped my self-esteem.
“If someone asked me about volunteering in the Courtyard Café, I would say it’s a really, really great place to work. It’s easy to get to know lots of new people and the staff are always friendly, and the customers are always really kind. They know when they’re coming here that they’re helping a charity, so it’s a nice atmosphere.”
Learn about volunteering at the Forget Me Not Centre
Your Forget Me Not Centre for child and family bereavement support is now open, and we need volunteers to help it run!
Rachael, our Engagement Coordinator for the Forget Me Not Centre has outlined two types of volunteers she is looking for at the centre – general volunteers and session facilitators.
Rachael said “If you’re good at listening, working in a team and interacting with children, we’d love to hear from you! It’s vital that the Forget Me Not Centre is a safe and welcoming place, so our volunteer administrators being able to greet visitors, preparing the space for activities and being there to listen to people, in person or on the end of the phone, is a really important part of creating a trusted environment.
“We also need volunteers with experience working with children to help facilitate sessions with children and their families. Whether it’s a physical activity like yoga, or a creative activity like art sessions or baking, there are lots of different ways we will be helping children and their families to talk about their grief and support each other as they find ways to cope.”
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please get in touch via [email protected] or 01524 382538
Meet Retail volunteer – Darren
Darren volunteers in one of our 8 St John’s Hospice Shops, helping to move and arrange heavy furniture in the shop and the stock room, and making sure everything is stored and displayed safely.
He has volunteered two or three mornings per week for the past eight months, and found out that St John’s Hospice Shops were looking for volunteers when he was visiting the shop one day.
Darren said “I wanted to volunteer to help a local charity, and show my appreciation towards the Hospice for helping my family through tough times. I like being part of such a friendly team, and knowing I play a key role in the shop.
“No matter how much time you can offer as a volunteer, it will be worth it. It’s great to feel like a valuable member of the shops team.”
Meet Reception volunteer – Julie
Julie is one of our volunteer receptionists, and a keen crafter!
Julie has been volunteering a day per week for around six years, helping to greet visitors and answer calls on reception. She started volunteering after retiring from her career in the NHS, and while she loves looking after her grandchildren, she found she wanted something more to do with her time – so when she saw that we were looking for volunteer receptionists, she signed up straight away.
Julie said “I like that volunteering here gives me a routine, and you get to meet so many lovely people! It keeps my brain going and the other volunteers, staff and visitors are all so friendly.”
Julie also uses her crafting prowess to sew items for the ward and for patients’ families, like the beautiful memory cushions in her photo. Her knitting and crochet skills are put to good use, making items to sell in our Courtyard Gift Shop, and Julie makes hand-made ‘worry monsters’ for bereaved children receiving support through the Forget Me Not Centre.
Julie said “I would tell someone who was thinking about volunteering at St John’s Hospice – do it! You feel like you’re giving so much back, but you gain so much too. It’s a two-way thing; you donate your time and you’re helping an amazing local charity, but you get so much back too. Everyone treats everyone with the utmost respect and I get to work alongside people I consider my friends.”
Meet Warehouse volunteers – Jade and Lucy
Jade spoke to one of our fundraisers, Annabelle, at a career fair in her school. She wanted to do some volunteering so she could add it to her personal statement when she applied to university and, as she loves reselling items on eBay, an e-commerce role with St John’s Hospice Shops seemed like the perfect fit. When Lucy was looking to do some volunteering to contribute towards her Duke of Edinburgh award, she joined her sister!
Jade said “It feels nice to do something for charity! We’ve recently moved from the Lake District to Lancashire, and it’s great having something to do after school because our friends are still up in the Lakes. We’ve got to meet new people, and we’ve learnt organisation and communication skills. We do quite a lot together, but it’s nice having something we can go out and do as sisters.”
Lucy said “It’s easier when we work together on Depop – one of us can take the photos while the other lists them on the app. You can reach a lot more people online than with the charity shops, especially younger people. It feels rewarding, volunteering for a charity.”
Jade said “If someone told me they were thinking about volunteering, I would say; do it!”
Lucy added “Any charity is a good cause, and if you can give up just a little bit of your time – we do about an hour and a half a week – you can make a big difference.”
There are lots of different volunteering roles available at St John’s Hospice!
Find out more here or get in touch to see how your passion could help your local Hospice!
Call 01524 382538 or email [email protected]