Fran Nguyen hospice volunteer in Great Yarmouth and Waveney

Since launching in April 2019, more than 3,950 patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney have been supported by the free specialist palliative care provided by the joint partnership of St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice and ECCH.

Typically living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, chronic lung diseases – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and neurological disorders, these patients have received free care through the partnership’s varied, specialist palliative care provision available at Beccles Hospital, in the community and through the service’s 24-hour advice line, OneCall.

This care is made possible by the staff from the hospice and ECCH but also by more than 100 volunteers who generously give their time to support the service. These volunteers provide their help in many ways, including supporting fundraising events, working in the administration teams, providing assistance to clinical staff and working in retail shops throughout the area.

One St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice volunteer is Fran Nguyen, who has supported the charity by volunteering in its Southwold retail shop, since October 2022.

“I really wanted to give back to my local community and when I saw the opportunity at St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice, it was ideal for me,” explained Fran, who lives in Reydon and also serves as a hospice ambassador, an additional role which sees Fran supporting the hospice by promoting hospice services and making connections in her local community.

“Volunteering at the hospice’s Southwold shop sees me working the tills and making sure the shop looks neat and tidy.

“I volunteer two Saturdays a month, as this fits well with my personal and working life. The team is very flexible and there is no pressure if you are unable to do a shift.

“I really enjoy meeting new customers and find it fascinating observing what people choose to buy and noting the different items they show interest in.

“Different people come into the shop, holidaymakers, regulars and locals. They all come in for different reasons and buy a range of items, from puzzles and books through to teddy bears and decorations for new homes.

“The Southwold shop team also have little get-togethers, so it has been nice to socialise and get to know the staff and other volunteers who have all been so supportive in helping me understand the different quirks of the shop.

“Volunteering for St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice is really very rewarding. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering to everyone. It is a win, win situation and such an enjoyable experience.”

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice email or visit

Further information about the partnership’s services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney can found by visiting

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