Volunteering makes today matter

Volunteering makes today matter

Posted on 27 June 2018 by Monika Reichelt

We celebrated Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2018) in recognition of the exceptional contribution made by over 620 volunteers who dedicate their time and skills to the hospice throughout the year.

Volunteers have a powerful impact on the delivery of hospice services. Last year alone, over 600 volunteers contributed a cumulative 130,000 hours of support across 40 different roles.  They are are highly valued and integrated members of every team. Different volunteer roles are spread across every area of the hospice allowing the organisation to offer a broad range of services seven days a week, 365 days a year.

76% of Ayrshire Hospice staff are volunteers, with 20% of them volunteering within clinical services, 73% within finance, fundraising and retail and 26% volunteer within support services. 2% volunteer within the Executive team as Board Members. The average age of a hospice volunteer is 55, with the youngest hospice volunteer aged 16 and oldest 88 years of age.  Some volunteers have been giving their time and skills for the last 34 years – since the very beginning of the hospice!  33 hospice volunteers, with a cumulative total of 486 years’ service have been presented with a Long Service Award this year and the combined length of service for all current Ayrshire Hospice volunteers is an astounding 4659 years! 

Mandy Yule, Chief Executive said: “We are extremely grateful to all of our volunteers for the invaluable support they provide - without them it would be extremely difficult to deliver the exceptional hospice service that we do. With the help of volunteers from the local Ayrshire community we can reach more people with life-limiting illness across Ayrshire, offer a broader range of services, make our budgets go further and allow everyone to have more quality time to give.  It is important that we celebrate our volunteers’ contributions, recognising the significant amount of time they donate as well as the vast skills and experience they bring to our organisation”.

Hospice volunteers are quick to champion the benefits of volunteering and how rewarding it can be. Hospice retail volunteer, 20 year old Chantelle McNelis started volunteering in the Irvine shop in August 2017.  She said:

“Volunteering has given me the opportunity to contribute to the wonderful organisation that is the hospice, helping it to continue to offer its services to the people of Ayrshire.    Before I started volunteering I was a really nervous person however, having been here for almost 10 months I now feel that I have developed my confidence and social understanding through being part of a supportive team and not to mention the general public.  It has made me a lot calmer and become a better listener. I love fashion and retail seemed like the obvious choice to express my interest and learn how to apply this to merchandising.

“To have been given the opportunity to gain experience in most of the retail operations I will continue to be grateful for and always appreciate.  Most of all my numerical skills have improved through the processing of sales transactions.

“All of the help and support that I have received whilst volunteering in the shop I know will help me to gain employment in the future.  This is my long term ambition.  The Irvine shop is such a warm and friendly place to be and I am so proud to be a part of it.”

The Ayrshire Hospice holds the Volunteer Friendly Award - a quality standard awarded to organisations who:

  • Celebrate volunteers contributions
  • Involve volunteers
    • Make volunteering happen
    • Promote fair & equal volunteering
    • Identify specific volunteering roles and tasks, and recruit successfully

 

Mandy Yule concluded: “The unique and individual contribution our volunteers offer provides those we support with many valuable and positive experiences including companionship, reassurance, a listening ear and also helps our patients and their families to maintain important links with their own community.  Whether volunteering within one of our clinical teams, fundraising, retail or another hospice team, they all help to deliver care that is dignified, person-centred, integrated and compassionate to those with a serious, life-limiting illness across Ayrshire.  National Volunteers’ Week is a time when we can loudly celebrate all they do, and remind everyone that hospice volunteers are very special people who give deeply from their hearts. A huge “thank you” to each and every one of our wonderful Ayrshire Hospice volunteers!”

If you would you like to find out more about volunteering please visit at /join-team/recruitment/current-opportunities-volunteers/  or call 01292 269200. The hospice is always looking for help and has many interesting opportunities across different roles including retail, fundraising, catering, gardening, complementary therapy and pet therapy.

Volunteers’ Week is a national, annual campaign, which was established in 1984, to recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. Charities across the UK will hold events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the power of volunteering in bringing communities together.