The inspiring ‘Games Makers’ at the Olympic and Paralympic Games have given volunteering a high profile recently. Their enthusiasm and willingness to help has been a crucial element in making both events such a success and it is wonderful to see these volunteers being recognised for their contribution.
Volunteers have played a major role in community life in Suffolk and it is important to recognise the things that ordinary people do every day to help others in need. St Nicholas Hospice Care could not do the work it does today without its superb volunteers.
Michael has volunteered for us for 6 years. He helps keep the ward stocked with dressings, drives patients to and from the Hospice and helps count donations in the finance department.
There is also Sarah who, in her day job, works on a family farm but in her spare time supports bereaved children as a volunteer with our Nicky's Way support programme.
One of our new volunteers, Liz, works 4 days a week in London but gives her time to be a Hospice Neighbour, offering companionship to a patient in her community and helping out with errands. She is also a bereavement visitor, supporting those who have lost a loved one, and also finds time to be a Hospice Ambassador, helping others to understand our work.
Volunteering is a great way to support a cause you are passionate about. It’s a way to do something you have always wanted to do, but not as your day job. Volunteering can fit alongside work, student life, retirement and times of unemployment. It can help you develop new skills or brush up old ones. I have known many people get back into work because of their experience as a volunteer.
St Nicholas Hospice Care makes sure that our volunteers have the training and support they need with the emphasis on fun and not on paperwork or bureaucracy.
It is wonderful that the London 2012 Games Makers have brought the world’s attention to the great spirit of kindness and generosity shown by so many people. Let us now also recognise the amazing contribution that people in our local communities give every day.
Volunteering can make a difference to your life and others. Why not give it a try?