More volunteers needed as Hospice prepares for new era

  |  Published: Feb 24th 2017
Elaine with nurse Carole Hildreth
Elaine with nurse Carole Hildreth

Volunteers are being urged to come forward to help patients with life-limiting conditions as South Bucks Hospice prepares to move into a stunning new £4.8m building.

The charity is on course to move later this year into a 15,000 square foot three-storey property in Totteridge, High Wycombe.

However, more volunteers are needed to carry out various functions which support the care services given by the experts at the community hospice.

Dee Baverstock, South Bucks Hospice's Volunteers Co-ordinator, explained: "We have a great team here but we still need volunteers everywhere. We are looking for drivers, gardeners, collection boxes collectors, receptionists, and people who simply are good at meeting and greeting.

"You don't have to have any special medical expertise to volunteer, because all skills are welcome and can be used by us for the benefit of our patients."

She added: "I hope people will listen to this appeal and join us. The difference they can make to the lives of others by helping at the Hospice is quite considerable. And, what is more, the volunteers themselves really tend to derive a lot of benefit from the joy of helping others."

Former nursery nurse Elaine Merrilees is one such volunteer who says that helping out at the charity has benefited her by enriching her life.

Elaine, 57, a mother-of-three from Hughenden Valley, has volunteered at the hospice as a day services assistant for four hours every Tuesday since April 2015.

Her duties are in the kitchen, ensuring the lunches are served up to the right temperature. She also washes up, clears away the food and serves tea and coffee to patients.

"I have made a lot of friends here among staff and patients and do feel I have made a difference," she said. "My mum was in a hospice a long time ago and I felt drawn to it because I knew a hospice had helped my family. Some people perceive that helping at a hospice would not be their cup of tea - but it is a really happy and enjoyable place to be with a really nice atmosphere."

Now Elaine urges others to follow her example. She added: "If you are thinking about volunteering then give it a go because there are so many opportunities, such as in the office or garden, and it's an incredibly enriching experience, because I benefit possibly as much as the patients do."

By the middle of 2018, it is projected that 650 to 800 people a month will be using the new hospice building.

Dee Baverstock said: "Now is your chance to join us in this incredibly exciting new era. I hope people will pick up the phone to find out more about how they can help."

* People can volunteer from as little as two hours a week. If you want to join the Hospice team, contact Dee at dee.baverstock@sbhospice.org.uk or call 01494 537775

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