Each year, the week of 1-7 June is Volunteers’ Week – a time to celebrate everything that volunteers do around the UK.

Here at Katharine House, you’ll find incredibly selfless people in every area of our hospice willing to give up their time to make a difference to the lives of local people.

We simply couldn’t do what we do without our brilliant team of volunteers! 

Whether it’s volunteering in our gardens, working on reception, volunteering in one of our shops, supporting at one of our events – or the many other volunteering roles we have on offer – they are helping to make every moment matter for our patients and their families.  

So, throughout this week, we’re saying thank you to all our #HospiceHeroes and highlighting some of our the areas where our fabulous volunteers support Katharine House. 

Bereavement Support Volunteers

Sam has volunteered for Katharine House for more than 15 years but has recently moved across to the Bereavement Support Team.

She said: “Volunteering for Katharine House Hospice gives you a sense of community and a feeling of wellbeing that you are part of something good that benefits all who are involved. It gives you an opportunity to cherish humanity and experience both the light and shade of life.

“There is something special about volunteering. People coming together to do something purely for the benefit of others, to step outside of themselves. Then there is the most wonderful feeling of warmth that you get from supporting others that is unparalleled by anything else.”  

Katharine House Hospice Charity Shops Volunteers

If you’ve ever popped into our Bicester shop you may well have received a warm welcome from Helen. As well as a regular volunteer in the shop, Helen also helps on reception at the hospice.

Helen explained: “My husband died ten years ago, and the support we received from the Community Nurse before his death was just fantastic and made life so much better. And then after he died, the bereavement support helped a lot. I wouldn’t be where I am now without that support.  Volunteering is my way of giving back to Katharine House and of saying thank you.

“I would recommend anyone to volunteer for Katharine House, especially in the shops. It’s just so rewarding knowing that you have helped to raise funds and have made someone smile.” 

Living Well Volunteers

As one of our Living Well Volunteers, Lucy supports the arts and crafts session every Monday morning.  As well as helping with a range of activities, Lucy is there to greet people, make them feel welcome, and sometimes just sit and listen over a cup of tea.

Lucy said: “I’ve always loved meeting people. I used to be an Occupational Therapist, so being around others is something I really love. There is such a lovely atmosphere in Living Well – it’s a really great way to spend the morning.

“We’ve been doing a range of crafts, including modelling with clay, making beaded butterflies and silk painting. They are all quite calming activities, and the results can look stunning.”

Reception Volunteers

John is one of our brilliant reception team providing a warm welcome to all our visitors.

Like many of our volunteers, John has a personal connection to the hospice after a close colleague received end-of-life care at Katharine House.

John said: “At that difficult time, I became very aware of the importance of hospice care for both the patient and their close family and friends. I was impressed by the time, patience, dedication and compassion shown by all those who I met at Katharine House. When I decided that the time was right for me, I contacted the hospice to offer my help.

“As a former Deputy Head, my professional career was all about trying to steer young people in the right direction by making a difference to their life chances. My volunteering allows me to continue making a difference in a quite different context, albeit on a much smaller scale. It’s great to feel part of a team and to feel that my volunteering efforts are valued.”

Event Volunteers

As one of our regular Event Volunteers, Rachel has helped out at open days, our Santa Fun Run, and she’s also already signed up to help at this year’s Moonlight Walk.


Rachel said: “I first volunteered when my mum Marie worked in the fundraising office as a volunteer several times a week.  At that point I didn’t live locally but travelled to Adderbury for events.  My mum has sadly passed away, but it’s such a worthwhile cause and, as I now live in the village, it feels important to support local charities to my home.

I enjoy working with other volunteers and catching up with them.  I also like meeting those who are doing the event and helping them along with their fundraising efforts.”

As well as volunteering at events, Rachel also raises money selling knitted items, jams, chutneys and plants. We can’t wait to see you again on 16 July for our Moonlight Walk. Make sure you give Rachel a wave if you see her on the night!

Hospice Companion Volunteers

Jenny has been volunteering for Katharine House for the past five years and is one of our Hospice Companions.

It’s a fairly new volunteering role that offers companionship and support to our patients and carers.

Jenny said: “Volunteering is a two-way process, not only do the patients and staff of Katharine House benefit from the work volunteers put in, but the volunteer also derives immense satisfaction knowing they have helped in some small way.

“Over the few years, as we are all aware, many of the main charity fundraising events were cancelled and it is so important for people to get back into the community, to volunteer and re-kindle friendships which developed from the camaraderie amongst volunteers.” 

Thank you to all our volunteers

Thank you, Sam, Helen, Lucy, John, Rachel and Jenny – and ALL our other volunteers - for your passion and commitment to supporting our hospice and our community when they need us the most. In addition to the areas we’ve focused on here, Katharine House Hospice’s some 270 volunteers can also be found in our beautiful gardens, helping in the inpatient unit and shaking collection tins in town centres, among many other places.

Related pages

If you’d like to find out more about how you can make a difference by volunteering for our hospice, take a look on our website. In particular we are looking for: