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Hospice volunteers receive awards

Author: Leila Hawkins
05 June 2018
  • St Joseph's Hospice Head of Volunteering Carly Attridge
  • Volunteer at St Vincent's Hospice

Three hospices have received awards for the valuable work of their volunteers and their commitment to supporting them.

St Joseph’s Hospice

St Joseph’s Hospice in east London has received the Investing in Volunteers Accreditation.  Head of Volunteering Carly Attridge describes her pride at being given the accolade:

“St Joseph’s has a long history in the local community of Hackney and volunteering is engrained in the ethos and culture of the organisation. At the most basic level St Joseph’s simply would not be able to deliver services without volunteers.

In the past few years our Compassionate Neighbours project has grown and grown and has become a really important part of St Joseph’s life, and our neighbours have made a huge impact on spreading the word about our work into their communities and beyond.

Those who know St Joseph’s will be aware of the renowned Jumble Sales that happen regularly at the hospice. We have a small army of volunteers who come in twice a week to sort out the jumble to make these sales possible - raising vital funds so that we can continue to care for our patients.

These are just some of the vital roles that are carried out by more than 600 volunteers.

Of course all this does not just happen by itself, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes by our incredible Volunteer Team who put a lot of time and effort into recruiting volunteers and matching them to suitable roles. We do not just look at what we can get from them, we want to ensure that they get the best possible experience from their time here. The team are always looking for new ways to keep the volunteers engaged with the hospice with weekly newsletters offering new opportunities and updates, and twice yearly parties to celebrate their achievements and thank them for their commitment to the hospice.

The Investing in Volunteers accreditation is the UK quality standard for all organisations that involve volunteers. This is a major achievement and one that we are really excited about.

Investing in Volunteers demonstrates our organisational commitment to our fantastic volunteers present, past and future, and to ensuring excellence in volunteer management across the organisation. The feedback we received was extremely positive, with some really helpful development points in a small number of areas, which we will incorporate into our work as a team over the coming months.

A huge thank you to all of our volunteers, our volunteer supervisors and to the volunteer team for their drive, passion and commitment to volunteering at St Joseph’s. We really could not do it without you. You are all amazing.”

Compton Care

The Bereavement Volunteers at Compton Care in Wolverhampton have been awarded the Queens’ Award for Voluntary Service. The accolade recognises Compton Care’s bereavement visitor volunteers who provide comfort and support to people who have lost loved ones.

The Queens’ Award for Voluntary Service was created by Her Majesty the Queen in 2002 and is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.  Often referred to as the MBE for volunteer groups, the award is presented for outstanding achievement by people who regularly volunteer their own time to enhance and improve the lives of others.

Olwen Olliver has been a Compton bereavement volunteer for 11 years. She said:

“I offer home visits and I also see people at Compton at a time and date to suit them. I am very flexible to suit their needs. With the one-to-one sessions it is about establishing a relationship with that person and they have to trust you because you find that they tell you things that they cannot always tell their family and friends.

“I feel so proud to be a volunteer for the bereavement service at Compton. I get such immense satisfaction knowing that I have helped somebody. I always say, we provide the crutch for people to lean on for a while until they are able to find their own feet and do not need that crutch anymore.

Justine Wilson, Bereavement Services Manager, added:

“We are so proud of our dedicated volunteers and are over the moon that their hard work has been recognised in this way. Every single one of our volunteers helps to enhance the work we do ensuring our services remain extraordinary and making a real difference to the lives of local people living with complex and incurable conditions.”

St Vincent’s Hospice

St Vincent’s Hospice in Renfrewshire, Scotland, also received the Queens’ Award for Voluntary Service. Commenting on this, Volunteer Services Manager Elaine Grealey said:

“We are absolutely over the moon to have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and cannot thank everyone enough for everything they have done to make this possible.

“We have more than 200 volunteers at St. Vincent’s, and this award is a testament to the incredible and vital work that they do every single day.”

Chief Executive Kate Lennon added:

“All those years ago, when we first opened the doors of our small hospice in North Road, Johnstone, this landmark accomplishment would have been unimaginable. This has only been made possible thanks not only to the contributions of our current team of Volunteers, but everyone who has given up their time over the years to make this happen.

“The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is a national recognition of the outstanding contribution our volunteers make to our services, patients, families and the community as a whole. On behalf of all of us at St. Vincent’s, I would like to congratulate every one of our volunteers, and thank you for everything you have done for our hospice.”

Volunteers’ Week runs till June 7

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