Local people looking to start 2021 with a fresh and exciting focus are being encouraged to find out more about volunteering their time to support hospice care.

Blythe House Hospicecare, in partnership with Helen’s Trust, provides free services to patients across the High Peak, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire, who are affected by life-limiting illnesses including cancer, COPD, heart failure and neurological conditions like motor neurone disease.

The charities have a team of over 250 dedicated volunteers from all walks of life, who collectively donate around 600 hours of their time each week to support local care.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain (left) from Chapel-en-le-Frith became a Community Volunteer in 2018, providing practical support and companionship to hospice patients and their families, including during last year’s COVID-19 national lockdowns.

Andrew said: ‘Overall, people have been very kind and appreciative, even for the smallest things that take so little out of my day but make a big difference to the lives of the people I am seeing. It is rewarding – and humbling. I am pleased to be part of the Blythe House team; it is a good place to be.’

Judy Gill (right) started to volunteer at the Buxton charity shop on Eagle Parade around four years ago, after accessing support from the hospice following her partner, Jeff’s lung cancer diagnosis.

Judy, who’s from Buxton, commented: ‘I would encourage anyone who thinks they might like to find out more about becoming a Blythe House retail volunteer, to get in touch for an informal chat. The atmosphere here is easy going and relaxed – and I work with lovely people. I would definitely recommend it to any prospective volunteers who want to give something back to their local community.’

Jasmyn Walton (left, with friends at the 2019 Jingle Bell Jog) gives her time to support the hospice’s weekend fundraising events in roles including marshalling and registration of participants.

The Hayfield resident said: ‘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. The friendly Blythe House team will be very grateful for any time you can give them. You will feel great after helping others.’

The hospice has volunteering opportunities in four key areas: patient services at the hospice building on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith, and in patient’s homes across the High Peak, Dales and North East Derbyshire; retail; and fundraising. Full training, orientation and support is provided in all roles.

Find out more about volunteering at Blythe House and Helen’s Trust.

You can also call: 01298 815388 or email.