It’s Volunteers' Week – let's celebrate!

Monday, 6 June 2016
We’re celebrating volunteers' week, and the fantastic contribution our hundreds of volunteers make to The Prince of Wales Hospice – we really couldn’t do it without them!

Here at the Hospice, we have so many different types of volunteers - our reception is staffed entirely by volunteers, our beautiful gardens are maintained by volunteers, and vital funds are raised by community fundraising volunteers.

Our volunteers are of all ages and come from a variety of different backgrounds. They volunteer for many different reasons, links to the Hospice through family members and friends we have cared for, some wish to give back their community, whilst others come to strengthen their CV by developing new skills.

We caught up with two volunteers, Becky and June, on why they volunteer for The Prince of Wales Hospice. Read their stories below:
 
June Gill, long standing fundraiser and volunteer (pictured on her many fundraising adventures!)

June is  one of The Prince of Wales Hospice’s longest standing volunteers and has been involved with volunteering and fundraising for the Hospice since inception, all the way back in 1989!

On why she started volunteering for the Hospice all those years ago, June said: “I knew the people who started to be part of the fundraising section, and then because you know them, you automatically want to help. I think it’s one of our worthwhile local causes, it’s because its local and we need a lot of money that you want to do it.”

77 year old June is a woman on a mission – to raise as much money for the Hospice, in the most exciting ways possible. Her fundraising achievements to date include trekking through the Sahara Desert, walking along the Great Wall of China and climbing the highest mountain on the British Isles – Ben Nevis.

Talking about her fundraising work, June said:  “I won’t say achievement – but the one thing I’ll always remember is China. It wasn’t just the wall; it was China, the whole place. Maybe it was because it was the first abroad trip I did, if I hear music that reminds me of China, it takes me back, there’s just a pang about it.”

When she’s not on a fundraising adventure, June can be found bag packing at her local Marks & Spencer store, running a tombola at a fundraising event, or donning fancy dress for promotional photo shoots. She said:  “I’ve got a degree in bag packing now. It’s amazing how many people you talk to who know about the Hospice who have had dealings with it and want to tell you their story.”

We asked June what her favourite thing is that she has done for the Hospice, she told us: “I did a parachute jump and came down Andy Pandy. I love to make things happy and make things fun, there’s no point in being miserable about it.

“It’s all hard work, but it’s the satisfaction you get when you go home. I nursed for such a lot of years. I was 64 when I retired; I thought do I want to do volunteer nursing? No, I think I’ll go raise the money.”

June urges others to join The Prince of Wales Hospice volunteer team, “Come and enjoy the company, people don’t have to do big things, that’s only daft people like me. There’s something for everyone, such as the Great North Run, tombolas, bag packing and raffles.”
 
Becky House, Fundraising and PR volunteer

Becky joined The Prince of Wales Hospice as a Fundraising and PR volunteer back in November, for work experience as part of her university course.

Working one day a week in the Fundraising Team, Becky has gained hands on experience writing press releases, managing social media and securing media coverage for a number of fundraising events including the Cyclothon and the Festive Fun Run.

Talking about what she enjoyed most about her placement, Becky said:  “I really enjoyed working on ‘Wrapped in Love’. It’s the most coverage the Hospice has ever received and I was part of it. Coverage included Ridings FM, BBC Radio Leeds, Look North and the Pontefract and Castleford Express.
“I loved the story behind it, it wasn’t just about raising money, it was also about raising awareness and it was such a happy story.”

Becky has just completed her final year, studying Journalism at The University of Huddersfield. She used her experience working at the Hospice to create a portfolio which she submitted as part of her course.

Set to graduate in September, Becky is feeling confident about starting a career in media, she said: “Working at the Hospice has made me realise how much I have learnt at University. It’s given me confidence that I can apply what I have learnt in a professional working environment. It’s been a valuable experience and I’ve met some great people.”

Feeling inspired? There’s a volunteer opportunity to suit everyone – find out more about the opportunities available here.
 
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