If you are thinking of giving your time to a good cause this year, then look no further than supporting your local hospice.
Blythe House Hospicecare is on the lookout for volunteers from all walks of life, to help provide care and services to local patients who have life-limiting illnesses including cancer, COPD, heart failure, and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease, as well as their family members and carers.
Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer at Blythe House, supporting the hospice in three key areas: patient services, retail and fundraising. Roles include befriending, catering assistant, fundraising and events support, gardener, reception cover, retail assistant, counsellor and driver.
Alistair Rogerson, Volunteer and Support Services Manager, said: ‘Without our dedicated team of over 270 volunteers, Blythe House simply could not open its doors every day. We are incredibly grateful to the friendly and committed bunch, who collectively give almost 600 hours of their time to the hospice every single week. Support from our volunteers means that we can spend the maximum amount of money directly on care and services for local patients and their families.’
- Emily Efstathiou from Fairfield undertook volunteer work experience at the hospice during her Business Studies course at Buxton College: ‘The thing I have enjoyed the most has been meeting so many new people including the staff, volunteers and the patients, and hearing about everyone’s lives and reasons for supporting the charity; it has been truly inspirational.’
- University of Manchester student, Tom Craig from Hayfield, volunteered during his summer holidays: ‘Just being somebody who a patient can talk to about some of the difficulties that they are facing; or simply a chat about a random topic; or helping to clean the teacups at the end of the day; it is worth volunteering here simply because you can really feel like you are making a difference.’
- Jasmyn Walton, also from Hayfield, works full-time through the week but gives her time to support the hospice’s weekend fundraising events: ‘When I volunteered I went along with a few of my friends, which was great for the organisers as they had more helpers, but this also meant I spent time with my friends whilst contributing to the community. You will feel great after helping others – I am already looking forward to volunteering at the next event with the hospice!’
- Taddington resident, John Baker is one of the hospice’s community volunteers, which sees him head out across the local area to provide support in the homes of patients, their families and carers: ‘I have supported a patient by ensuring her husband had some respite, taking him shopping and for a coffee and a cheeky cake for just two hours each week. Simply listening and offering a different environment for a couple of hours can and does make a massive difference within a difficult situation.’
- Betty Moll, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, has volunteered at Blythe House charity shops since 2009, after she relocated to the High Peak from Peterborough with her husband Tony (who is also a hospice volunteer): ‘If you have just moved into the local area and you’re looking to meet new people and make friends, volunteering for Blythe House is a great way to do so. It is a worthy role and I know that I’m giving something back to support a local hospice.’
To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Blythe House, you can: