More than 1,500 volunteers generously give their time to support St Elizabeth Hospice. These volunteers provide support in many ways, including working in one of its 31 retail shops, through to volunteering on the hospice inpatient unit and supporting the hospice administrative teams.
One St Elizabeth Hospice volunteer is Sue Sutherland, who has been supporting and volunteering at the hospice since 2006.
“I first took part in an event run by the hospice in 2006 and since then I have participated in a couple of the hospice’s Midnight Walks. As well as offering my time as marshal for the event, I have also been a volunteer in the volunteer office since January 2017,” explained Sue.
“After retiring in 2016, I was very keen to find some voluntary work as I had a few months free before embarking on a long trip. Through my experiences of the hospice I knew St Elizabeth Hospice would be a great place for me to offer my support further and after approaching them I was told I was very welcome to return whenever I had free time and I haven’t looked back since.”
Living in Freston, Suffolk, Sue has an interest in websites and manages a website for her local sailing club. Through her work in the information department at Ipswich Hospital she was aware of St Elizabeth Hospice and the services it provides patients and their families.
After supporting the hospice for a number of years and following her retirement, she was pleased to find a volunteering opportunity which enabled her to help the hospice while also using her skills and passion for websites.
“There is no such thing as a typical day volunteering, but my role sees me help with any administrative task that is needed and also help to run projects, particularly IT projects, for the volunteer office,” she said.
“I was a change manager in a previous life and have made suggestions to make some processes easier which have helped to make the processes more efficient at the hospice.
“Most of all I enjoy learning new skills and being involved with a team of committed people and that is exactly what I have experienced through volunteering my time at the hospice. It is very rewarding and volunteering through the pandemic has definitely kept me sane.”
Volunteering sees supporters donate any amount of time they are able to do so. As part of Sue’s role she normally volunteers one day a week, but due to the nature of her work during the pandemic she has been able to work from home, according to what jobs needed completing.
Sue added: “I think there is a place for everyone in volunteering, we all have different skills and knowledge that can help support good causes in our local area. You learn new skills, make new friends and for some people, volunteering gives structure to their day. You get out what you put in.
“There is always a good atmosphere in the office and although I haven’t been into the hospice much in the last year, due to the pandemic, it helps that myself and other volunteers are invited to the online team meetings.
“All hospices are important. I used to be a nurse and at that time there were very few hospices around. This meant the care that is provided today, allowing people to choose how they are cared for in their final weeks and months, was not available.
“To be able to support the hospice through volunteering and using my skills and interests in any way I can, is very rewarding.”
To learn more about volunteering opportunities at St Elizabeth Hospice email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/support-us/support-us/volunteer-for-us/.