St Barnabas House, the adults’ hospice for Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield, is marking this year’s Volunteers’ Week by celebrating the contribution made by its dedicated volunteers.
Volunteers’ Week is a national campaign which takes place annually from 1-7 June, celebrating the contribution made to society by millions of volunteers in the UK. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to have a positive impact on the lives of those who volunteer, assisting volunteers in learning new skills and boosting self-esteem.
Mark Francis, the hospice’s Voluntary Services Lead said: “Volunteers are the backbone of the charity and make a huge difference to the lives of patients and their families. During 2018, a total of 682 volunteers supported St Barnabas House both at the hospice and in its charity shops. Those volunteers contributed 77,580 hours, saving the hospice £895,686. An additional 1,000 volunteers helped at over 65 fundraising events for St Barnabas House.”
Could you be a St Barnabas Community Companion?
The charity prides itself on being able to offer a wide range of volunteer roles to suit all ages, skills and interests. Roles include Community Companion volunteers who provide social support to hospice patients and their carers. This might include visiting a patient’s home for a chat, picking up some shopping or helping them to get out and about.
Community Companion, Hannah Morrish, 33 from Portslade, has been visiting Derek Fox, 85 from Lancing, since April. When the weather is nice, they love to spend time at the beach together.
Derek said:“You’ve got to keep your sense of humour! When Hannah comes to take me out each week it is lovely to chat to someone and share jokes. I’ve told her about lots of things in my life and some of the places I’ve been to.”
Hannah visits Derek once a week and has enjoyed getting to know him.
Hannah said:“It’s been so lovely to take two hours out of my week to spend time with someone special. I’ve learnt so much from Derek and he has given me some good advice! He’s travelled around so many different countries, seeing a lot of the world – it’s so interesting to hear about other peoples’ lives.”
If you have been inspired by Hannah, the next Community Companion training days are taking place on 5 and 10 July 2019 at St Barnabas House. Visit www.stbh.org.uk/community-companionsto find out more and download an application form.