Volunteers

St Peter’s Hospice wants you! Shop volunteers needed

 

Our recruitment campaign for shop volunteers has now been rolled out in shops and on social media, featuring a cross-section of our fabulous, eclectic and extremely photogenic shop volunteers

Regular customers may recognise a few friendly faces!

 

 

The campaign highlights all the benefits of volunteering at a St Peter’s Hospice shop and the different ways people can help.

If you would enjoy and benefit from volunteering in our shops, or know someone that would, please visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer.

 

Aylwyn collects his Gold Star Award

Aylwyn receives his award
One of St Peter’s Hospice most dedicated volunteers has collected his Bristol Gold Star Award for his service to the charity.

Aylwyn Powell is a volunteer driver and stalwart supporter of St Peter’s Hospice. Last night, Aylwyn attended the Bristol Post’s ceremony to accept his award. Here at the Hospice, we’d like to say well done to Aylwyn and thank you for your years of service.

Aylwyn receives his award

Alwyn will have volunteered for St Peter’s Hospice for six years this September. He first started helping out at the hospice after they cared for his wife.

“The staff were incredible,” said Aylwyn.  “Those four days were the best she had for months. It was then I was determined that everyone should be treated that way.”

Aylwyn is incredibly humble about the work he does and puts the emphasis on the team effort.

“The whole atmosphere in there is unbelievable. It calms you down when you walk in the door… It is like magic!”

“Bristol should be proud of the people who are volunteering there… We wouldn’t be able to do it without them all.”

“It is an honour to be picked to get the award.”

Aylwyn Powell

Marc Willetts is the hospice volunteer manager at St Peter’s Hospice and works closely with Aylwyn on a daily basis.

“Aylwyn is always prepared to go the extra mile,” says Marc. “His cheery positive disposition makes him a well-loved driver by patients, families and staff. We believe him to be of special note and recognition.”

The Bristol Post Gold Star Awards have been running for 24 years and celebrate ordinary local people who have done extraordinary things. They are the longest-running awards of their kind in the South West.

To read more about Aylwyn and the awards click here.

 

Thank you to our Long Service Volunteers

Thank you to all of you who came to our Long Service Volunteer Awards on 12 November and all of our incredible volunteers who have given 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service to St Peter’s Hospice.

We have over 1,558 volunteers aged from 13 to 96 covering roles that are pivotal to the running of the Hospice. Last night was about saying thank you for the 27,000 hours they have given the past year.

Russell Cowan, our Head of Volunteering, said: “Volunteering benefits our communities, it strengthens bonds, it brings people together around a common purpose who otherwise might not meet. This is particularly relevant now and something we should always seek to encourage.”

“We hold events like these, not because we think you won’t volunteer if we don’t, but because sometimes we need to pause, look around and be amazed that you’ve chosen to give 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and more years of your life to make a positive difference in someone else’s.”

We asked our volunteers why they volunteer with us. They said:

“It’s about giving back. I think if everybody gave back something it would be a better world.”

“Knowing that I’m doing my little bit to help people in the most vulnerable time of their life – that’s why I volunteer.”

Long Service Volunteer Awards
Long Service Volunteer Awards
Long Service Volunteer Awards Long Service Volunteer Awards

For more photos, please view our Photo Album on Facebook

Could you volunteer in our new Hospice?

Our brand new Hospice is expected to be completed towards the end of the year, and we’re all really looking forward to moving into to our new state of the art building and welcoming in our first patients.

When we move back in, we’re looking for around 50 new volunteers to support the day-to-day operation of the Hospice. When we moved our inpatient unit temporarily to Keynsham, it was a smaller site, so we had to stand down some of our volunteers, but we’re now seeking new volunteers to help us.

There are a variety of volunteer roles including:

  • Supporting health care assistants in ensuring patients are comfortable and have everything they need as well as spending time chatting with patients if required.
  • Helping out at the hospice coffee shop, helping prepare and serve drinks as well as snacks such as paninis and sandwiches.
  • Helping with the floral displays in the unit and patients’ bedrooms.
  • Helping out on ward reception, meeting and greeting families, taking calls and passing on messages to staff.
  • Complementary therapists are also being sought to volunteer their time, offering treatments such as hand massages, aromatherapy and reflexology. Therapists need to have a diploma in their field, their own insurance and be members of an industry body and ideally have a year’s experience of private practice.

We need our volunteers mainly in the evenings and at weekends, but there are roles available during the week also. Hear from some of our current volunteers on why they find the Hospice such a fulfilling place to volunteer…

Sue Forse: Floral displays

Sue Forse is a keen gardener, so was quickly recruited to the job of looking after our floral displays.

Normally flowers are not allowed in medical settings. However due to the fact that a team of volunteers refresh the displays and change the water daily, flowers are a welcome feature of the hospice.

Sue, 71, now volunteers at the hospice every other Monday for three hours, tending to the floral displays in the main hospice building and the patients’ bedrooms.

Sue Forse

“Having flowers as you walk in is so welcoming. The patients and the families love the displays and say it makes the unit feel very homely. I wanted to put something back into the community, I am very lucky to be fit and healthy and enjoying life.”

“The staff do such a valuable job here, and I know that they very much value the support of the volunteers in supporting the patients. The hospice is not a gloomy place – anything but. It is full of love and laughter and it is wonderful to be part of the hospice family working as a volunteer. St Peter’s is an excellent charity and one which has a lot of support in Bristol. I love being part of a team which makes patients’ days brighter.”

Maggie Donaghue: Serving meals and being a companion

Retired GP Maggie Donaghue was inspired to become a volunteer in the inpatient unit after seeing first hand the work of the hospice.

As a GP of more than 30 years, Maggie had worked with the hospice over the years, referring clients to the unit and the day hospice.

Her husband Ian was also cared for at the hospice after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. He died at the hospice, surrounded by his family 14 years ago at the age of 59.

Maggie now supports the healthcare assistants on the unit with tasks such as serving meals and drinks as well as being a companion to patients and their families, volunteering for four hours each fortnight.

Maggie Donaghue

“During my work as a GP we used the hospice a lot. Not just the inpatient unit but also the hospice at home and to get advice from their specialist teams.  My husband Ian was also cared for by the hospice. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for him. On a personal and professional level I have been so impressed with the care the hospice provides to the community of Bristol and wanted to get involved.”

“I am not there because of my medical background. But I am used to people being ill and am not scared of it. To be able to help on a unit which offers such amazing care to people is incredible. It is not a sad place. It is place full of light and laughter. The atmosphere on the inpatient unit is a very positive one. Every time I finish my shift I go home feeling so good.”

“One time that really sticks in my mind is when a patient asked me to help write out letters to her three sons. She had never really talked to them about her dying. I felt very privileged I was able to support her in that. It’s the little things in life that can make such a difference. I feel honoured to be part of the hospice family.”

Tony Dyer: Driver and coffee shop volunteer

Granddad of six Tony Dyer started volunteering at the hospice after the death of his wife Lesley. Lesley from Yate was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 58 years old and despite chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment she died at the inpatient unit in 2010.

Initially Tony started volunteering in the coffee shop once a fortnight. But now he also drives once a week, transporting supplies and helping staff to move around sites.

Tony Dyer

“I was up here every day with Lesley. The care and love she received was incredible and the care staff and volunteers became our friends and a constant source of support. Not only did the hospice do a fantastic job of looking after Lesley, they also looked after me. They gave me counselling and were by my side every step of the way. There was nothing they wouldn’t do.”

“If I can repay them by giving up some of my time, I am more than happy to do so. The thing about volunteering is you get more out of it than you give. The hospice is an uplifting place and I always come out of there feeling very fulfilled.”

If you’re interested in volunteering with us at our new hospice, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Russell Cowan, who manages our volunteers on 0117 9159448 or download and complete our application form, and return it to Russell Cowan, Head of Volunteer Resources, St Peter’s Hospice, Charlton Road, Brentry, Bristol, BS10 6NL

40 Years of Volunteering: The 1980s

This year is the 40th Anniversary of the Hospice and we’re also celebrating 40 years of volunteering. Here we look back at the 1980s and our first shop…

Totterdown shop, then known as Knowle and a little way up the road from its current location, was the first St Peter’s Hospice Shop to open in 1981. Pam Wilson and Bernadette Baker were among the first volunteers there and are still volunteering now in the Totterdown team. Pam Wilson told us her memories of the early days.

Knowle Shop

“It all started when I took some donations into St Peter’s Hospice first shop in Wells Road. The manager said he was looking for volunteers to help out. I agreed to help and have been working here ever since!

“We used to sort clothes out in an old lean-to with a corrugated roof. It was very cold and damp but we got through it. We had to take clothes etc. up a spiral stair case to the next floor.

“When I look back at the shop it was like a jumble sale with lots of things in cardboard boxes which customers used to go through.

“We had no till in those days, just a drawer to keep the money in!

“I still enjoy my time in the shop and meeting the customers.”

How we worked in the 80s

  • a drawer rather than a till to keep the takings
  • a book where we wrote down each item sold and the price – ‘men’s brown slacks 50p’
  • adding up the list of sales at the end of every day. Taking £40 was a good day!
  • cardboard signs to label areas of the shop – frocks and slacks were my favourites
  • no steamers – clothes were ironed only if absolutely necessary
  • an outside toilet that you occasionally needed a lawnmower to navigate!

By end of the 80’s there were five St Peter’s Hospice shops.

Find out more about volunteering for us here

Volunteer Aylwyn honoured with Gold Star Award

 

One of St Peter’s Hospice most dedicated volunteers has been honoured with a Bristol Gold Star Award by the Bristol Post for his service to the charity

Aylwyn Powell is a volunteer driver and stalwart supporter of St Peter’s Hospice.

Alongside driving hundreds of miles to pick up patients, Aylwyn uses any spare time to help the hospice. From raising thousands from charity concerts he organises, getting stuck in with the gardening, playing the organ for the carol services to collecting money door to door.

Alwyn will have volunteered for St Peter’s Hospice for six years this September. He first started helping out at the hospice after they cared for his wife.

“The staff were incredible,” said Aylwyn.  “Those four days were the best she had for months. It was then I was determined that everyone should be treated that way.”

Aylwyn is incredibly humble about the work he does and puts the emphasis on the team effort.

“The whole atmosphere in there is unbelievable. It calms you down when you walk in the door… It is like magic!”

“Bristol should be proud of the people who are volunteering there… We wouldn’t be able to do it without them all.”

“It is an honour to be picked to get the award.”

Marc Willetts is the hospice volunteer manager at St Peter’s Hospice and works closely with Aylwyn on a daily basis.

“Aylwyn is always prepared to go the extra mile,” says Marc. “His cheery positive disposition makes him a well-loved driver by patients, families and staff. We believe him to be of special note and recognition.”

The Bristol Post Gold Star Awards have been running for 24 years and celebrate ordinary local people who have done extraordinary things. They are the longest-running awards of their kind in the South West.

To read more about Aylwyn and the awards click here.

 

Volunteers celebrate 40 years helping hospice

 

St Peter’s Hospice volunteers celebrated 40 years supporting Bristol’s only adult hospice at a special event at City Hall on Wednesday

More than 330 volunteers attended the event, held during national Volunteers’ Week, to celebrate the hospice’s 40th anniversary and their contributions to providing care for the patients and families of Bristol.

Special guests included Emma Britton from BBC Radio Bristol and the new Lord Mayor, Cleo Lake.

“We enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces who have contributed to the life of the hospice in so many different ways,” said Russell Cowan, Head of Volunteer Resources. “Thank you to all volunteers past and present!”

If you would like to donate a few hours of your time to supporting patient care in Bristol, visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer.

 

Shop volunteer Rita celebrates 90th birthday!

One of the truly inspirational St Peter’s Hospice shop volunteers Rita Thomas celebrated her 90th birthday at a special event in the Westbury-on-Trym shop in April

Manager Mandi Gibbs said: “Rita is truly amazing; she volunteers every week, not just at Westbury-on-Trym but also in Westbury Hill – as well as three more shifts in our Stoke Lane shop. Rita always brings a smile and energy that belies her amazing age and we wish her a very happy birthday!”

We calculate her dedicated ten years of service have been worth more than £100k to the hospice, helping support so many patients and families.

Thank you Rita!

If you would like to volunteer in a St Peter’s Hospice shop or elsewhere in the organisation, visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer.

 

Volunteer June awarded Lord Mayor’s Medal

 

St Peter’s Hospice is pleased to announce that one of its longest-standing fundraising volunteers, June Hall, has been presented with a Lord Mayor’s Medal

June was presented with the medal at a special ceremony at Mansion House on Thursday in thanks for her support of the hospice over four decades.

June has been a committed supporter and fundraiser for St Peter’s Hospice from the very beginning, and over the past 40 years has helped raise substantial amounts of money for patient care in Bristol.

She is especially known for her incredible organisation of the Quilts and Crafts stall at the annual Christmas Market, and as a member of the Bristol Quilters has inspired many other talented quilters and crafters to support the hospice over the years.

“We are so grateful to June for her support and dedication over so many years” said St Peter’s Hospice Community Fundraiser Esther Hall. “We offer huge congratulations to her for this much-deserved award.”

To find out about the many ways you can make a difference volunteering for Bristol’s only adult hospice, visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer.

 

Noel helps to celebrate volunteers’ service

The annual St Peter’s Hospice Long Service Awards took place on Monday 13 Novemeber

This year St Peter’s Hospice celebrated a remarkable combined total of 1666 years of volunteer service from the 140 volunteers receiving awards.

Demonstrating an extraordinary level of commitment was Totterdown shop volunteer Pamela Wilson who picked up a Hospice-record 35 year award! Pam you’re amazing!

On the night, we were joined by TV presenter and long-term supporter of the Hospice Noel Edmonds, who presented the awards with some celebrity sparkle.

For more information on volunteering with St Peter’s Hospice visit stpetershospice.org.uk/volunteer.

 

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