Local hospice thanks their volunteers for providing over £400,000 of support a year

Local hospice charity, Ashgate Hospicecare, who cover the North Derbyshire area, will be celebrating the difference volunteers make to their organisation and thanking them for all their time and dedication during this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 – 7 June.

Volunteers make an enormous contribution to Ashgate Hospicecare, not only in terms of the skills and experience they bring, but also in the enormous financial savings through the support they provide. The hospice, which is based in Chesterfield and serves the whole of North Derbyshire, has around 690 active volunteers at any one time, supporting the retail shops, fundraising and clinical staff across the hospice.

Based on volunteers giving an average of six hours a month, and calculated at the National Minimum Wage from April 2019 of £8.21 per hour, their contribution has resulted in over £400,000 of valuable support. In reality, many of the volunteers give much more of their time and would cost more per hour to hire due to the skills and experience they bring to their roles. Ashgate Hospicecare is hugely grateful to all their volunteers for the time they dedicate in their roles, every minute of which helps patients with a life-limiting illness and families to receive vital hospice care when they need it.

Colin Boynton, from Buxton, has volunteered for Ashgate Hospicecare for over a year on the Inpatient Unit. He said, “I get an enormous amount out of volunteering for the hospice. It’s a very special place to me and so when I come here and serve the meals to patients, I feel included and part of the hospice. It’s been hard for me since I lost my husband, Frank, in 2017, but volunteering here keeps me motivated and I feel very well supported by the staff. It feels nice to give something back and bring a smile to the patients’ faces. I’d recommend volunteering to anyone and, no matter whether you want to spend time with patients or help the hospice in another way, you’ll be able to build up your skills and confidence and feel proud to support their fantastic work.”

Joanne Neill, Volunteer Development Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare said, “Ever since we opened over 30 years ago, volunteers have been integral to our operation. We simply couldn’t run the hospice without them. We have volunteers in almost every team: supporting our clinical staff on the ward and in the Day Hospice, helping out in the retail shops, doing administration, bucket collecting, marshalling at events and in many other roles too.

We know that volunteers who dedicate their time to the hospice don’t do it for the praise, but we like to let them know how their support helps more patients and families to receive care, not least because of these enormous savings. Our volunteers are truly special people and part of the Ashgate Hospicecare family, helping us to deliver specialist care when it matters the most, whether directly or indirectly through their roles.”

Staff at the hospice will be showing volunteers in their team how much they mean to them. Keep an eye out on Ashgate Hospicecare’s social media (@AshgateHospicecare on Facebook and Instagram, and @Ashgate_Hospice on Twitter) for updates throughout the week.

If you want to know more about volunteering for Ashgate Hospicecare, members of staff from the hospice will be out and about across North Derbyshire talking to the community about volunteering, encouraging people to try volunteering for the first time, and helping people find out how they can make a big difference to a cause they are passionate about.

To find out more about volunteering at Ashgate Hospicecare, contact the Volunteering Team on 01246 568801 or email volunteering@ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.

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