Volunteers are at the heart of Barnsley Hospice, and we simply couldn’t do what we do without them. In celebration of Volunteers’ Week – 1 to 7 June 2023 – we’re shining a spotlight on some of our incredible volunteers. Here, Alan and Lynn, have volunteered for a combined total of 30 years at the hospice, tell us more about their role in #TeamHospice.
How long have you volunteered at the hospice?
Alan: I started volunteering first, about 16 years ago now, and Lynn joined a couple of years later! I’d stopped working due to medical reasons, so my cousin suggested helping out at the hospice warehouse. It was still on Summer Lane at the time, and I didn’t know anything about it until I joined. But all these years later, we’re still here!
Why did you start volunteering at the hospice?
Lynn: I’ve worked in shops all my life. I worked at Wilkos for 20 years, so retail has always been a part of my life. The main reason we joined was to have something to do and help us get out of the house. Otherwise, we would just be around the house doing puzzles! Being at the hub keeps us on our feet and is great for our health.
What do your responsibilities as a volunteer include?
Alan: Whatever we’re asked to do really! I help out in the back of the warehouse, bagging clothing that we can’t sell ready to be ragged and recycled.
Lynn: I’m usually at the front of the shop, either on the till or tidying up the rails. We also help out at fundraising events whenever we can throughout the year. Sometimes it can be at the Golf Day, running a tombola stall somewhere or fundraising in town.
How often do you volunteer?
Lynn: We’ve been coming to the hub twice a week since we started volunteering nearly 15 years ago. The team has also been very flexible with us though. If we can’t make it in one week or have a holiday planned, we can just let them know. With events, we help out as and when we’re needed and when we’re free.
What is your favourite part about volunteering?
Alan: It gets us out of the house, but that’s not the main thing. Our favourite thing is meeting everyone and having fun. We’ve had so many good laughs between us, with both the staff and customers.
What would you say to anyone considering volunteering?
Lynn: Just try it! I don’t think anyone would give and go and then say it wasn’t for them. We enjoy it and it’s become such a big part of our lives. The hospice has always been accommodating to us and we’ve always felt like part of the team.
Do you have a favourite memory of volunteering at the hospice?
Lynn: I always enjoy the Golf Day, it is such as nice day and the people there are so generous to the hospice. We’ll often see players making a £10 or £20 donation for only one thing, just because they want to give back to the hospice. It’s nice to meet different people at all the events too!
We could not do what we do here at the hospice, without the support of our amazing volunteers. If you’d like to help us by joining the team, now’s the perfect time! We have several volunteer vacancies currently available, supporting at the hospice, Retail Hub and events.