As we continue with our Hospice Care Week blog series, we take a look at what our volunteers bring to Weston Hospicecare …
Volunteering takes on many forms within Weston Hospicecare, whether that’s volunteering in one of our shops, transporting patients to and from Day Hospice, or helping us list items to sell on eBay. Because Weston Hospicecare receives only 20% of its funding from the NHS, we rely on the local community to meet the rest of our running costs. Volunteering is just one way in which we can do this; by giving up their time for free, volunteers save Weston Hospicecare over £1 million each year, which means that more of our money can go towards helping patients.
Everyone in Weston Hospicecare is working towards a common goal: to provide the best possible palliative care for our patients. Together, we are hospice care, and we see that in our volunteers every day.
Within our retail sector, whether it’s working in our shops, helping to sort clothes in our hub, or driving one of our vans, everyone pulls together. The efficiency, friendliness, and dedication of our retail volunteers is exactly why our shops are so popular in Weston-super-Mare, Wedmore, Clevedon, Cheddar, Burnham-on-Sea, and the surrounding areas.
At Jackson-Barstow House, helpful, warm and welcoming volunteers greet patients and visitors on reception, arrange fresh flowers for floral displays, answer queries over the phone, help with administration tasks in our back offices, and so much more. We also have a team of companions and other bereavement and chaplaincy volunteers, who undergo special training to provide much-needed emotional support to patients and their loved ones.
For some, a regular volunteering role isn’t suitable, yet they’d still like to help Weston Hospicecare in some way. Our fundraising department is always in need of volunteers for a wide range of events, from marshalling a course during our Mendip Challenge to baking cakes to helping at a local coffee morning.
Volunteering doesn’t just benefit patients, loved ones and Weston Hospicecare, though. Our volunteers all gain something slightly different from the experience, such as making new friends, learning new skills, putting existing skills to good use, making a difference to people’s lives, or getting involved with the local community.
Our Volunteer and Training Manager Maria Beaton sums up what our volunteers bring to Weston Hospicecare: “Many times you will hear us say our volunteers are the lifeblood of Weston Hospicecare, and this is so true. Each department within the hospice has voluntary support – whether this is helping directly with patients and their loved ones, or within departments that make that care possible. The beauty of Weston Hospicecare is the variety of roles we can offer. There really is something for everyone. Our volunteers are extremely dedicated and passionate. They support us in whatever way they can, and their loyalty and total dedication is so clearly evident. We are extremely lucky to have such brilliant volunteers past, present and future. We are hospice care because they care, too!”
If you’d like to volunteer for Weston Hospicecare, please call into one of our shops, email us, or contact our volunteer team on 01934 423 975 for more information.