Ashgate Hospicecare, an independent registered charity, provides care to patients across North Derbyshire at its hospice, in the community and at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. As all of its services are free to those with life-limiting illness, the charity relies on the generosity of the local community to maintain its exemplary level of service.
Rebecca Littlewood, Communications Manager for Ashgate, explains that it’s not just monetary donations that count; hundreds of people regularly give their free time to help run the charity. Providing care for people suffering from extreme illness is not only financially expensive, but takes a vast amount of dedication – which Ashgate’s volunteers have in abundance.
She said: ‘Our volunteers do an enormous amount for Ashgate Hospicecare and all its patients. We simply couldn’t exist without them.’
‘People take on all sorts of roles, from the more practical side of things, such as helping to serve meals at the hospice on the Inpatient Unit and Day Hospice, to providing comfort and companionship to our patients, perhaps by giving complimentary therapies such as nail-painting. They are always on hand to help with fundraising at events, and are invaluable in running our sixteen shops.
‘We would like to take the opportunity this Volunteers’ Week to say thank you to you all.’
You can watch our volunteer week video here.
Andrea Jenner, a long-serving volunteer and an Ambassador for the hospice, said: “The great thing about Ashgate is that there are many volunteers of different ages and abilities, who all join for many different reasons. Whether they are eighteen year olds and gaining work experience for a career in medicine, or whether they’re between jobs and are looking for something to do – there’s a place for everyone. They are all equally valued by Ashgate Hospicecare.”
“I’ve been volunteering at Ashgate for over seven years now, but it has done more for me than I ever have for them. Working with patients with life-limiting illnesses, and their families, has taught me what’s important in life. Whatever problems I might face, volunteering at Ashgate helps put them into perspective.”
Across its full range of services, Ashgate runs a 21-bed Inpatient Unit, a 16-place Day Hospice, and a range of therapy and support services on site. Founded in 1988, the hospice helps over 2,000 patients every year and relies on donations.