St Giles Hospice volunteer Joan Fairley with members of her family

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A Whittington charity has thanked its volunteers after revealing they donate £2.3million worth of their time each year. St Giles Hospice released the figure to mark Volunteers Week, which runs from June 1 to 7. The charity worked out that more than 6,000 hours a week were donated which, if paid at national minimum wage, would total £2.3million a year. St Giles Hospice’s volunteer services manager Amy Moore said: “When we did the calculations we knew the numbers would be big, as we are lucky enough to be supported by almost 1,500 volunteers – but this figure is phenomenal. “We wanted to take the opportunity during Volunteer Week to thank every single one of the people who support us by giving their time so generously.” The hospice has sites in Walsall, Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield and Uttoxeter as well as thirty shops across the region. “Our volunteers work in a broad range of roles, from staffing our shops to offering complementary therapies and running our peer support groups,” said Amy. “While many bring experience from their professional lives, lots of people develop completely new skills through our training and the opportunities for new experiences as part of the St Giles team. “We benefit so much from the support of our volunteers and the feedback we receive is that they benefit too from the social interaction, feeling part of a team and confidence building.” Among those donating their time is reception volunteer Joan Fairley, who says she has a strong reason to give something back to St Giles.
St Giles Hospice volunteer Joan Fairley with members of her family
“I lost my husband Norrie ten years ago at the Whittington hospice,” she said. “while he was there he said ‘it’s like paradise here, you will help them won’t you?’. “I started volunteering on reception a year later and since then the whole family has got involved. “My daughter Cilla and I arrange a garden party in aid of St Giles every year and I regularly do car boot sales – the money from this goes towards the tombola at the garden party and glad rag events. “My grandson completed his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award with St Giles, volunteering in the lottery team helping them with administration and the whole family help at the Solstice Walk marshalling and registration, if not they are walking. “We know the value of the care the hospice provides and it’s great to be able to help, plus I really enjoy all the aspects of volunteering.” A number of volunteering evenings are taking place at the hospice in Whittington for those thinking of getting involved: Thursday 22nd June Thursday 27th July Tuesday 29th August Thursday 26th October Tuesday 12th December People can register for a place by emailing amy.moore@stgileshospice.com or calling 01543 434546 St Giles Hospice CEO Emma Hodges said the impact of volunteers was felt through the hospice community every day. “We are grateful to everyone who gives us their time and support to St Giles and does such a great job in every department and every team and at every event,” she said. “It takes a community to make a hospice, so without our volunteers and all of our supporters we just wouldn’t be able to provide the care and support to people locally.”

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