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FRI­DAY sees the start of Na­tional Vol­un­teer Week, and we just couldn’t let it pass with­out pay­ing trib­ute to our team of over 650 vol­un­teers.

Whether they vol­un­teer in our re­tail di­vi­sion, in our START Clinic, as a coun­sel­lor, as a ward clerk, in our gar­dens or our kitchens, each and ev­ery one plays a part in mak­ing Wil­low Wood the won­der­ful place it is.

One of our vol­un­teer re­cep­tion­ists, Bar­bara said: “I was first in­tro­duced to the hospice about 11 years ago when a dear friend spent the last weeks of her life at the hospice.

“Like many peo­ple I had never vis­ited the hospice be­fore and was struck by the kind­ness and care shown by ev­ery­one.

“Shortly after this I de­cided that I would like to help at the hospice and ap­plied to be a vol­un­teer on re­cep­tion. I have just clocked up 10 years in the job and still en­joy it.

“What do I get out of vol­un­teer­ing? Well, I cer­tainly don’t get paid in money but get so much more out of my job from know­ing in a small way I am help­ing the com­mu­nity.

“I have also made some good friends over the years and feel a val­ued mem­ber of the Wil­low Wood team and hope to be able to help the hospice for many years to come.” Donna Fit­ton, newly ap­pointed vol­un­teer of­fi­cer said: “I couldn’t agree more.

“I vol­un­teered at the Water­loo shop be­fore ap­ply­ing for this role, and ab­so­lutely loved it.

“It gave me so much sat­is­fac­tion and I went in for my shifts with a huge smile on my face.

“Ev­ery vol­un­teer, no mat­ter if they only do two hours a week, is a part of the jig­saw that makes up Wil­low Wood – ev­ery sin­gle one of them makes a real con­tri­bu­tion.”

How­ever, as Wil­low Wood is bring­ing in new ser­vices, such as the com­mu­nity hub and ex­pand­ing ex­ist­ing ser­vices such as the de­men­tia café which is now held twice each month, we re­ally would like more vol­un­teer help.

Our re­tail di­vi­sion, with eight High Street shops, two cafes and a huge distri­bu­tion cen­tre is an­other area where ad­di­tional vol­un­teers would be warmly wel­comed.

Donna said: “Why not make Vol­un­teers Week the week you start to sup­port your lo­cal hospice in this most prac­ti­cal way. Give me a ring on 0161 330 1100 to start your jour­ney with us – you won’t re­gret it!”

● Donna Fit­ton, vol­un­teer of­fi­cer, is wait­ing for your call

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