Julie Kennedy with Sue Jenkins at St Giles Hospice

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Volunteers are being thanked for the support they give to a Lichfield charity.

St Giles Hospice is using national Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1st to 7th June to celebrate the 6,000 hours given to the Whittington-based cause each week.

CEO Emma Hodges said the work of those dedicated supporters could not be underestimated.

“Our volunteers are absolutely vital to the hospice and we actually couldn’t do what we do without them,” she said.

“Across the hospice sites, in the shops and out in the community, our volunteers donate more than 6,000 hours a week, which is a contribution of time of more than £2.3million a year.

“Whether it’s a volunteer who has worked with us since the hospice opened or a young person adding skills to their CV, thank you all for your time, commitment and dedication to St Giles – we simply couldn’t do it without you.”

There are more than 1,200 volunteers currently working across the St Giles Hospice network, including nurse Sue Jenkins who retired to Fradley when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 50. She decided to volunteer in St Giles’ day hospice.

Julie Kennedy with Sue Jenkins at St Giles Hospice

Now 13 years on she has returned as a patient and says the hospice stopped her giving up after her cancer spread.

She said: “Coming back here has made a huge difference mentally thanks to the great support emotionally.

“It’s been really beneficial to come every week to the wellbeing day, because I get so much out of it, there’s so much laughter and happiness in the room. It’s helping me to live well with my illness.”

Sue and the other wellbeing day visitors are supported by a team of volunteers including Karen Puzey, who started giving up her time for the charity five years ago.

“We take new people under our wing and show them round, because there’s so much to get involved in, whether that’s crafts, complementary therapy, relaxation, yoga or talks,” said Karen.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of the team and no day is ever the same.”

Amy Moore

St Giles Hospice’s volunteering development manager Amy Moore said the team continued to grow and there were always new opportunities available.

“Volunteers’ Week is a wonderful chance to celebrate the contribution volunteers make to the hospice, every hour, day and week,” she said.

“We will be thanking our volunteers at a special tea party at the hospice and will be out and about in the community throughout the week to share our thanks with the wider community.

“We’d also be delighted to chat to anyone who would like to find out more about volunteering, whether that’s for a few hours at an event or for a more regular commitment as we have a range of role to suit.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities with St Giles, visit www.stgileshospice.com/volunteer.

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