As part of national Volunteers Week, we celebrated the achievements of our incredible volunteers earlier this week.
Each year, more than 1,000 local people volunteer with our hospice. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide our expert end of life care and support.
Coming from across Sussex and Surrey, our volunteers take on 49 varied roles from; gardeners and charity shop assistants, to complementary therapists, caterers, and even a caricature artist! Between them, they volunteer more than 50,000 hours a year.
And in 2018-2019 alone they provided comfort and care by:
• Driving 32,500 miles bringing patients to and from the hospice
• Serving 22,812 hot and alcoholic drinks from the hospice drinks trolley
• Providing 2,291 counselling, support and spiritual care sessions
• Selling 378,869 individual items in our 16 charity shops.
Rita Reissland is one of our many volunteers. She volunteers in our Caterham shop two mornings a week. Rita said: “I volunteer to give something back as St Catherine’s cared for my husband Ken. After I lost Ken, I knew volunteering in the actual hospice would be too painful. But volunteering in my local shop is perfect. I love ironing so I usually steam the clothes that we’ve had donated, and I serve customers on the till too. We have regular customers come in and I really enjoy chatting to them. Volunteering makes me feel useful and the team have been really welcoming.”
To thank our volunteers for their incredible contributions, we hosted a volunteers award evening at Tilgate Golf Club on Wednesday 5 June. This recognised volunteers who have reached five, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years voluntary service with us.
Peter Nesbitt, our Volunteering Development Manager, said: “We’re really lucky to be so well supported by volunteers. We simply couldn’t provide our services without them. By giving their time and skills, our volunteers are some of the biggest donors to our hospice. We want to say a huge thank you to each one of them for their incredible support. We’d especially like to congratulate any volunteers who reached a special volunteering milestone with us. Their loyalty and dedication to the hospice, and all the people we care for, makes a huge difference at a difficult time.”