Each year, the first week of June is National Volunteers’ Week and we are taking this opportunity to say a big thank you to every one of our volunteers, who have played a big role in the hospice’s pandemic response.  

At Katharine House there are more than 300 volunteers working across all areas of the organisation on reception, as ward clerks, in the hospice gardens, building maintenance, catering, fundraising and in the six charity shops. They perform an invaluable role - the hospice wouldn’t function without the dedicated support they provide.

‘It is impossible to imagine the hospice without the support of our amazing volunteers,’ said Trevor Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at Katharine House. ‘Even during the extraordinary times of the last year they have demonstrated their dedication and commitment time and again, I cannot thank them enough. From working in the hospice, to supporting fundraising and our shops they have given so much and continue to do so. That support is invaluable as we move forwards and we still need help in our shops and at the coming Not the Midnight Walk, which is so important as the biggest fundraising event of the year.’

One example of going above and beyond as a volunteer, was the programme of lateral flow testing, which ran during the second lockdown. A team of volunteers created the process with the clinical staff to enable family members to visit their loved ones safely. One of the volunteers involved, Helen, said: ‘I felt incredibly proud and privileged to have the opportunity to volunteer and support the lateral flow testing for visitors. I wanted to make a contribution and support Katharine House Hospice and felt that this was “my little bit” in assisting with these arrangements to allow family, friends and related visitors to see their loved ones.’

In addition, clinical support is given by around 30 trained volunteers who support the hospice bereavement, hospice companion and Living Well services. Lydia Brook, Living Well and Supportive Care Lead at Katharine House said: ‘Our volunteers are all incredible, giving of their time and talents. Among them, Georgia has run Art@Home, delivering art materials and giving encouragement to patients and carers on our caseload. Jackie, our volunteer chaplain, has offered significant support to the team, making regular supportive calls to patients and carers, and Lindsey, who supports Living Well support calls, has also signed up as a telephone hospice companion.’

Tim Jenner, Chair of the Trustees Board, said: ‘We want to thank all our volunteers for everything they do to help make our hospice the wonderful place that it is. Whether they are involved with the clinical service, fundraising, or other hospice activity, their support and efforts over the years have been a vital contribution to the charity, helping to establish its fantastic reputation within the community.’

Volunteering opportunities at Katharine House Hospice