‘The backbone of our organisation’
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.