From 1-7 June 2019, hundreds of events took place across the country to mark Volunteers’ Week. The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to local communities every day. There are 165,801 voluntary organisations in the UK, many of whom rely on volunteers, including hospice charity, Naomi House & Jacksplace. To thank the hospice volunteers, the charity hosted a celebratory tea party at the hospices for 25 of their in-house volunteers and a luncheon for over 50 of their shop volunteers.
Naomi House & Jacksplace benefit from the continued support of over 500 volunteers from across the south, all of which either volunteer in the hospices, in the shops or at various fundraising events the charity hosts all year round.
The first event the charity hosted to pay tribute to their volunteers was an afternoon tea. Volunteers enjoyed homemade cakes and tea alongside live musical entertainment from local ukulele band, Sylvi and the Shedettes. The atmosphere was a positive one, with everyone chatting and reminiscing about their personal volunteering journeys within the hospices.
The shop volunteers, who work in the 23 Naomi House & Jacksplace charity shops across the south, attended an informal luncheon, which featured live music from local jazz band, Saxophony. The volunteers were also given a short tour of the hospices from the Director of Fundraising, Paul Morgan, giving them the opportunity to see first-hand how their shop’s income directly benefits the life limited and life threatened children and young adults who use the hospices.
Volunteers work across every part of the organisation. Fiona Ashford, who is a Play Volunteer, works directly with the children and young adults. She commented:
Before I retired, I used to work with children and young adults who had additional needs. I sometimes heard them or their parents talking excitedly about going to stay at Naomi House, which made me keen to work there as a volunteer!
Debby Bartlett, who works as an Ambassador for the charity, delivers presentations to businesses and schools to raise awareness and encourage support for the hospices. She said:
It’s brilliant being able to give something back to society; meeting so many people, attending various functions, doing a wide variety of jobs that need doing and helping to make a difference for the families and young adults that Naomi House & Jacksplace help.
To find out more or apply to become a Naomi House & Jacksplace volunteer, visit: www.naomihouse.org.uk/volunteer to discover a huge variety of roles.