Letter: Volunteers

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Every day, across our community, a dedicated team of superstars are quietly making a huge difference to the lives of local families living with terminal illness and bereavement. Offering their valuable free time, more than 600 individuals regularly share their skills and experiences with Saint Michael’s and without them we simply couldn’t continue our vital work. Volunteers have been part of the fabric of Saint Michael’s since the very beginning; three decades later, as the charity marks its 30th anniversary, this remarkable community of support continues to be at the heart of local hospice care. Our volunteers outnumber paid staff six to one, so their contribution to our vital work – supporting more than 2,000 families each year living with terminal illness and bereavement – is incredible. Volunteers are involved in almost every aspect of this work; they spend hours listening and talking to patients with sensitivity and care, offering people extra support when it is needed most. They visit patients in their own homes, helping reduce isolation, and supporting them to feel connected with their community. Our volunteers help keep our 11 community shops running smoothly, ensuring our customers have a great experience. This year, our very special retail volunteer team has been instrumental in helping raise a record breaking £1m – a significant contribution to the £5m the charity needs to raise annually in order to continue providing services. We have volunteers who help at our events, serve teas, bake cakes, sell raffle tickets and hold collection tins on streets and in stores. Volunteers are a friendly face welcoming visitors, they make calls, answer phones and help spread the word about our services district-wide. We are truly fortunate to have so many selfless individuals with such a generosity of spirit. On behalf of Saint Michael’s, as part of Volunteer’s Week 2018, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of our volunteers for the remarkable difference they make right here in our community.

Tony Collins
Chief Executive,
Saint Michael’s Hospice