This week St Ann’s Hospice is saying cheers as the charity celebrates volunteers week – but without its volunteers.
Helpers at its hospices in Little Hulton, as well as Heald Green and the Neil Cliffe Centre, can’t turn out during lockdown but their contribution has not been forgotten.
Our volunteers, Breda and Colin, are enjoying the sunshine while saying their cheers to fellow #TeamStAnns volunteers! Raising hands Brenda helps run the coffee shop at St Ann's. Cheers to both of you! #VolunteersWeek pic.twitter.com/cWycKz4TrR
— St Ann's Hospice (@StAnnsHospice) June 2, 2020
The volunteers manager Louise Fleming explains how important volunteers are to the running of the hospice.
The hospice has a total of 700 volunteers who help out within the charity.
Unfortunately, during the Covid-19 pandemic all volunteers from St Ann’s Hospice have had to stand down.
Louise said: “It’s been really challenging because they provide a massive amount of support and amazing support,
“We’ve had different members of staff doing different roles that volunteers may of done, so its definitely not the same without them.”
In previous years the hospice has celebrated its volunteers in different ways, from random acts of kindness to free coffee and cake.
Louise explained: “Normally we go with the theme of having a coffee and cake on us.
“We get volunteers to try and come in either their volunteering groups or independently during the week but because a lot of our volunteers only do a shift every two weeks we kind of carry that on for a fortnight rather than just the original week.”
Louise added: “Then in our charity shops we send stuff out, we send out nice boxes of biscuits to the shops.”
Louise said: “I mean really it’s that kind of notion of cheers to the volunteers, so it’s rather us saying thank you for everything you do.
“It’s us kind of saying we’re missing you. It feels really unusual not having people here and we’d love to be able to be celebrating in person.”
Louise added: “I think the main thing our social media and things like that is to get people to raise a glass to themselves.
“Because we can’t do it in person, so take a moment and just pat yourself on the back and recognise what they’ve done and what we hope they’ll come back and do in the future.”
Weeks such as this, show how important the work of volunteers is.
As Louise said: “We’d be lost without volunteers.”
To donate to St Ann’s Hospice click the link below.