We're celebrating Volunteers' Week!

Friday, 1 June 2018
 This Volunteers’ Week we’re celebrating the hundreds of volunteers that help us with so many aspects of running the Hospice; From helping us to run our shops, supporting our catering team and lending a hand at our fundraising events - we couldn’t do it with out you! 
This year at our Staff and Volunteers Awards Evening we awarded fundraising volunteer, Dave Malkin, a brand new award, ‘Volunteer of the Year’.  Come rain or shine, Dave supports every one of our events.  Up at early doors to pack up the Hospice van and set up the event, he does everything in-between to help the day run smoothly, before finally packing up at the end of a very long day. 
We caught up with Dave ahead of Volunteers’ Week to find out what drives his commitment to supporting the Hospice and of course to hear all about his day at Prince Charles Buckingham Palace 70thbirthday!
Dave’s involvement with the Hospice started a whopping 27 years ago through his local pub, The Robin Hood.  The pub held various fundraisers, including a 24-hour darts marathon, to help support the Hospice in its infancy when it needed vital funds to support its set up costs. 
Dave explains; “Because we did the darts marathon for the Hospice, and the Hospice was so small, for us to do some fundraising we had to apply to the council for charity status and I became the secretary for it.”
The Robin Hoods fundraising raised an amazing £3,500 for the Hospice and Dave’s love of the Hospice grew from there.  He said;
“I started off doing some plumbing for the Hospice, and then I got into fundraising. I just love the place. I’m proud of what it does. I’ve always felt after I moved down here that I got on with the community and I wanted to give something back."
Fast forward nearly three decades and Dave still put his all into supporting the Hospice. We asked him what his reaction to winning ‘Volunteer of the Year’ was. Here’s what he said;
“I didn’t even know I had been nominated, it was all top secret! I was delighted. But I still think, there are people that probably do more than me and have done in past. I don’t look at it as being volunteer of the year, I think of it as being a volunteer overall.”
As a reward for his achievement, we invited Dave to represent the Hospice at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles 70thBirthday celebration. Talking about the day Dave said;
“I was over the moon it was brilliant! I’ve been lucky enough to have other opportunities where I’ve been introduced to Princes Charles too. I attended his 53rdbirthday at the Savoy in London, along with celebrities like Stephen Fry and Terry Wogan.  I also met him at a polo match. I used to take the Hospice mini bus down every year and set up a Hospice stand.”
As we wrapped up our catch up with Dave, to let him get on with his day, we asked him what he enjoys the most about volunteering at the Hospice. He said:
“I enjoy it is because of the staff and other volunteers that are involved. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful. 
“When I hear the comments about how well people are looked after and cared for, that’s why I do it. It means that everyone is doing their bit, and I just feel a small cog in a big wheel.”
Feeling inspired by Dave’s story? Check out our volunteer opportunities here.
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