ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: Throughout Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June 2021), St Michael’s Hospice took the opportunity to thank their volunteers for their contribution to the Hospice and showcase the benefits volunteers have on the local community. It was an opportunity for the Hospice to share volunteer stories on their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and website, highlighting why volunteering at the Hospice is so important. 

Janis, Hospice Telephone Befriender volunteer
CREDIT: Janis towns

Janis, a Hospice Telephone Befriender volunteer, kick-started the campaign by explaining what volunteering means to her: “I started volunteering for the Hospice on reception, but since then I’ve also volunteered as a Wellbeing Telephone Support volunteer and most recently as a Telephone Befriender. I’ve been able to volunteer from home over the last year, mostly over the phone, but also meeting other volunteers and staff for meetings online. Volunteering at the Hospice is a life-changing experience. 

“Over the last year I’ve realised some people are very isolated, and it can be difficult to make new connections. A weekly chat can really help someone to regain a sense of belonging and bring them back into a community they were once a part of – which is such a lovely thing to be able to do.

“I think the pandemic has really made us all aware of our vulnerabilities and shown us how important our community is to us. I provide support remotely now, which sounds ‘remote’, but strangely it’s not: l now have a closer, more intimate relationship with the people l talk to. It’s given me the opportunity to connect more, putting myself aside and really giving the other person the time to express themselves.

“One of the most positive advantages of volunteering is it teaches you so much, and l often feel I’m gaining more than the people l am helping. You learn about yourself through focusing on someone else.”

Margot Uden, St Michael’s Hospice Voluntary Services Manager commented: “We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – the volunteer community has been overwhelmingly supportive throughout the pandemic. Regardless of whether or not volunteers have been able to actively engage with us since March last year, we’ve been amazed by the continued interaction. Despite the hurdles we’ve all faced, volunteers have played a big part in delivering services to patients, carers, and people who have been bereaved. 

Volunteers have been part of our creative solution. Wellbeing volunteers have supported patients remotely; Telephone Befrienders are offering support to those people who are feeling isolated and disconnected; Retail volunteers have stopped and started over the last year and got used to a whole new way of working – twice; and our e-Learning Buddies are supporting volunteers with online learning. We’ve also been able to continue with Bereavement and Spiritual support with the help of a dedicated volunteer team. The Reception team has adapted to a new way of working and volunteers have continued to make people welcome in extremely difficult circumstances. Events are back, and volunteers are a big part of making them happen.

We look forward to more innovation and creativity over the next year at the Hospice and in the community, made possible by the continued support and engagement of volunteers. Volunteer Week is an annual opportunity for us to reflect on the power of people to help make great things happen and to say – Thank You!”

For more information on how you can support the Hospice visit:

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