Saint Francis Hospice’s 950 volunteers give up 265,000 hours each year, which saves £1.5m over 12 months. The Hospice aspires to have 1,000 of them by the end of 2020. After a recent volunteer recruitment drive, the Hospice has welcomed some new faces in the ward, grounds, retail stores, and driving outpatients to and from Pemberton Place.
One of those is Elaine Cheadle. Last year, she retired from 30 years in the police and wanted to do something worthwhile with her newly-found spare time. During the twilight of her police career, Elaine became a traffic officer: ‘I was a nice one!’ she claimed.
Elaine has been driving for the Hospice’s fundraising team and was recently part of the Christmas tree recycling scheme. Elaine, alongside 30 other volunteers, collected and recycled more than 1,000 Christmas trees. The Hospice raised over £12,000 while helping the environment at the same time.
‘I’ve never met such a great bunch of people who are so incredibly passionate about a cause,’ she said. ‘I know it sounds cheesy, but volunteering gives me a sense of purpose.’
Elaine has some simple advice for anyone considering volunteering: ‘Do it; it’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever done.’
It’s the passion, kindness, selflessness and generosity of volunteers that help to make Saint Francis Hospice such a special place. Without them, the Hospice simply wouldn’t survive. The Hospice’s volunteers dedicate anything from one to 35 hours a week. There are all different kinds of jobs on offer.