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26th Jun, 2022

New volunteer scheme launched as hospice care expands

Worcester Editorial 4th Dec, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

MORE volunteers are being sought to give a helping hand at a city charity as it continues to expand its services.

St Richard’s Hospice’s Community Volunteers was officially launched last Wednesday (November 27) in a bid to get more people to offer their support to patients in the day hospice, the in-patient unit or in their own homes.

Thelma Wingfield, project co-ordinator, said: “I am delighted that St Richard’s Community Volunteer scheme is up and running and already making a significant difference to patients and families in local communities.

“We are extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers who give their time and energy to provide practical support and companionship to patients who want to receive care in their own homes, surrounded by the people, pets and belongings that are important to them.

“We understand when someone has a life-threatening illness it’s difficult to deal with the everyday tasks that still need to be done.”

There are currently 63 volunteers who work all over the county, including Worcester, Droitwich, Malvern, Evesham and Pershore but it is hoped this number will increase as the hospice expands in the coming years.

The volunteers do everything from going out on walks with the patients, to their ironing, taking them shopping or just staying with them to have a chat.

Rosemary Blackburn, 86, is being helped by a Community Volunteer after losing her son, her son-in-law and her daughter-in-law, but is still a carer for her 89-year-old husband, who she will celebrate her 65th wedding anniversary with next year.

“I just want to say thank you so much to the volunteer for helping me,” she said. “She is wonderful, I could not ask for anyone better.

“We have so much in common. She takes me shopping and always says if you are not up to it I will just come and sit with you and have a chat.

“I am so grateful.”

Joy Clee, a carer at the hospice, said: “My husband died 18 months ago and I had St Richard’s supporting us, I could not have managed without them.

“The staff and all the carers here are marvellous.

“A lot of things that concerned me 18 months ago have been sorted by St Richard’s and I can’t tell you how much they have supported me.”

A Community Volunteer can be anyone aged 18 and over and for more information contact Thelma on 01905 763963 or e-mail communityvolunteers@strichards.org.uk.

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