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The Summer of Volunteering

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Last summer, Rosie Cassidy had time to fill. She kindly decided to volunteer for Saint Francis Hospice before going back to university to continue her degree in psychology.

Rosie spent her holiday helping the Hospice win the fight against loneliness and isolation in our local boroughs. She lent a sympathetic ear on OrangeLine, the Hospice’s confidential helpline for people who are feeling low and in need of friendly conversation. The service offers guidance and information while helping people make new connections and friendships.

Rosie’s degree is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour, including childhood traumas, mental illness, and how the brain develops.

‘I saw that Saint Francis Hospice was appealing for volunteers and thought I could help’, Rosie explained. ‘When I read about what the OrangeLine team did and the people they support, it sounded lovely.’

Rosie had never been to a hospice and admitted that she had reservations about how a 21-year-old would fit in. Those doubts soon disappeared when she discovered Saint Francis Hospice’s unique vibe.

‘Everyone at the Hospice was so welcoming,’ she remembered. ‘It’s such a positive and uplifting place to be.’

Rosie discovered that not everyone who used OrangeLine wanted to talk about loss or illness. Many were happy just to chat and take their mind off any troubles. She’d often spend time talking about a film, book or pop group. Rosie hoped OrgangeLine’s older callers found it uplifting to speak to someone younger. 

‘I realised that age gaps and different life experiences aren’t a barrier to volunteering,’ she said. 

‘It was so rewarding to know that I was brightening their day. I’ve always enjoyed listening to people. Volunteering doesn’t take much out of your week but can make such a massive difference to other people’s lives. Every volunteer at the Hospice does it out of the kindness of their heart.’

After graduation at University of Sussex, Rosie wants to become a clinical psychologist so that she can continue to help people who need it the most.

Saint Francis Hospice’s volunteers dedicate anything from one to thirty-five hours a week. The Hospice needs people of all different ages to do all different kinds of jobs across our Hospice, fundraising events, and charity retail stores.

To find out more about how you can help people in your local boroughs, please visit their website, email volunteering@sfh.org.uk, or call 01708 758614. 

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