‘The back­bone of our or­gan­i­sa­tion’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOCUS -

THE Hospice of St Fran­cis has an army of 1,086 vol­un­teers who are the ‘back­bone’ of the char­ity.

One of the char­ity’s vol­un­teers is Paul Matthews, 65, from Belling­don, who has been a ‘valu­able’ mem­ber of the hospice’s eBay team for the past four years.

Mr Matthews spe­cialises in check­ing and list­ing items such as cam­eras, binoc­u­lars and cam­corders on the web­site which peo­ple have do­nated to the hospice.

Mr Matthews owned his own busi­ness mar­ket­ing com­pany for 17 years. When he re­tired, he de­cided he wanted to use his free time giv­ing some­thing back to the com­mu­nity.

He said: “I knew of the work the hospice did and I wanted to give a bit of my time to peo­ple in need. I re­ally en­joy it, and the job is quite dif­fer­ent some weeks.”

Mr Matthews vol­un­teers on av­er­age about one day a week for seven hours and he is urg­ing other peo­ple with some spare time to do the same.

He said: “The hospice is happy if any­one can even do a cou­ple of hours – it can’t run with­out its vol­un­teers. Peo­ple en­joy it be­cause it’s nice to give some­thing back. It’s also a

‘NICE PEO­PLE': Paul Matthews nice at­mos­phere here and peo­ple who want to vol­un­teer are usu­ally nice peo­ple as well!”

CEO of The Hospice of St Fran­cis Steve Jamieson said: “Our ded­i­cated 1,086 vol­un­teers, who on av­er­age give over three hours of their time per week, are the back­bone of our or­gan­i­sa­tion, living out our hospice val­ues and con­tribut­ing enor­mously to the care we of­fer for pa­tients.

“We have over 75 dif­fer­ent roles and vol­un­teers are in­te­gral to ev­ery as­pect of our work from sup­port­ing our pa­tients and car­ers, to main­tain­ing our beau­ti­ful gar­dens to help­ing with our fundrais­ing and in­come gen­er­a­tion. There re­ally is a role to suit ev­ery­one’s tal­ents and in­ter­ests!

“This year we are hold­ing a spe­cial thank you tea party in our gar­dens at the end of Vol­un­teers’ Week and I’m look­ing for­ward to thank­ing our vol­un­teers per­son­ally at this oc­ca­sion for their com­mit­ment to The Hospice of St Fran­cis.”

The hospice is in need of more vol­un­teers for its eBay team who can help with pack­ag­ing or list­ing items plus vol­un­teers to look af­ter pa­tients and vis­i­tors in its in-pa­tient unit.

For more in­for­ma­tion on vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties at the hospice call vol­un­tary ser­vices manager Gil­lian van der Merwe on 01442 869 550 or visit www. stfran­cis.org.uk/sup­por­tus/vol­un­teer/vol­un­teerop­por­tu­ni­ties.

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