Over 50 new Ashgate Hospicecare volunteers recruited after launch of #30for30 challenge

Six months after Ashgate Hospicecare launched their #30for30 campaign, the Hospice is excited to announce that they have recruited over 50 new volunteers! The Hospice relies heavily on volunteers, who make up nearly three quarters of their total workforce.

Matt Corbishley, Director of HR & Support Services, said, “Ashgate Hospicecare simply couldn’t run without volunteers. They are absolutely vital. We have volunteers across all areas of the Hospice, including in our shops, at events, serving patients in our Day Hospice and on the ward, supporting our admin teams, out in the community fundraising and speaking about the Hospice and in many more roles.

We’re so pleased that more and more people are showing an interest in volunteering for the Hospice and we’re grateful for each and every person who kindly donates their time here. As well as our volunteers playing a vital role in the day to day running of the Hospice and in raising the funds needed to keep the Hospice going, we also like our volunteers to develop their skills throughout their time here. We welcome all applications, so if you are interested and have a few hours a week to spare, please get in touch!”

The campaign, which was launched in the 30th year of the Chesterfield based hospice delivering patient care to those with a life-limiting illness across North Derbyshire, aims to encourage people who may not have thought about volunteering with the Hospice before to donate 30 hours of their time in 2018.

Denise Walters, from Tapton in Chesterfield, started volunteering at Ashgate Hospicecare after hearing about the campaign on her local radio station. She said, “My mum was in the Hospice before she died and it’s just such a wonderful place. My whole family have done what they can to support the Hospice since then. My sister and I both asked for donations to the Hospice for our 50th birthdays, my son shaved all his hair off for Ashgate and raised over £800, and my dad joined the Ashgate Lottery. We all wanted to do our bit. I also took part in the Sparkle Night Walk and that led me to want to do more for the Hospice. Volunteering seemed like the next natural step.

I heard about 30for30, donating 30 hours of your time for Ashgate’s 30th anniversary, from an advert on the radio. A lady was saying, “Often people say, I don’t know how you can volunteer at the Hospice, but you can do it.” It just made me think that I could do it. I’m just at home most nights, so why not do something really useful with my time?

This is the first time I’ve volunteered for a charity. I come in and help on the ward once a week in the evening from five until half past six. I serve teas and coffees to the patients and

help serve their evening meals. I’m there for an hour and a half but the time goes really quickly!

I’ve only been volunteering here for about six weeks or so, so I’m still finding my feet, but it’s lovely. They let me loose on the tea trolley on my own for the first time last week, which was a little daunting because you don’t know how the patients will be feeling when you go and see them, but all the other volunteers and the staff are very helpful. Any problems that I have, I just ask the nearest person what to do and they sort me out. If you’re unsure about what to do, there’s always somebody to help.

I enjoy the interaction with everyone. Just knowing that you’re doing something to keep the Hospice running is really nice. Once I’m more confident with what I’m doing, I’d like to dedicate more time to the Hospice. It’s a really nice atmosphere to be in.

I’ve done nine hours of volunteering so far, so I’ll definitely finish my 30 hours by the end of the year and I’ll probably continue volunteering once I’ve completed those hours. Once you’re in, you’re in!”

Take on the #30for30 challenge to set yourself apart from the crowd, learn something new, meet new people and make a real difference. For more information, please visit http://30for30.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/, call the Hospice on 01246 568801, or email volunteering@ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.

Don’t just take our word for it, volunteering has proven to have so many benefits for people of all ages including include improvements in physical and mental health, quality of life, positive behaviour change and improved social support, together with changes in skills, inclusion and employment. For more information, please visit https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/app/uploads/2017/09/Barriers-and-Benefits-1.pdf

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