Letter: Volunteer Week - A huge thanks to our volunteers

Chief Executive at St Michael's Hospice Tony Collins.
Chief Executive at St Michael's Hospice Tony Collins.

To mark Volunteer’s Week, which runs from June 1-12, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the dedicated volunteers who are a vital part of the Saint Michael’s community.

Our volunteers outnumber paid staff six to one, so their contribution to our work, supporting more than 2,000 families each year living with terminal illness and bereavement, is considerable.

Volunteers, quite simply, are at the heart of everything we do and are involved in almost every aspect of Saint Michael’s care, services and activities.

Our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and age ranges. Some offer a little time now and again, others are able help us on a regular basis.

All bring their unique experiences, perspectives, skills, stories and talents to share with us.

Volunteers offer sensitivity, compassion and care, spending hours listening to and talking to patients, giving people and their families extra support when it is needed most.

Our volunteers keep our eight community shops running smoothly, ensuring our customers have a great experience and helping raise more than £800,000 towards the £5 million we spend on services each year.

We have volunteers who bake cakes, help at our events, sell raffle tickets and shake collection tins on streets and in stores.

Volunteers use their professional skills to answer phones, make calls, welcome visitors and help spread the word about our services district-wide.

In return, our volunteers tell us that they appreciate being able to make a difference to peoples’ lives; they enjoy learning new skills while sharing existing ones, and above all, they like the feeling of being able to give something back.

It is humbling and inspiring to know how many people are willing to give their free time, skills and energy to benefit their local community and support others, and we are grateful to all our volunteers.

It takes a whole community to run a hospice and when we all come together, we can achieve something amazing that is so much bigger than the sum of our parts.

Our ability to provide, develop and improve services while providing our special brand of care is due in no small part to the support of our remarkable volunteers - we couldn’t do it without them.

Tony Collins

Chief Executive,

Saint Michael’s Hospice