Lucas' Zest Volunteering Story

Established by St Elizabeth Hospice in 2015, Zest is a scheme which sees the independent Suffolk charity work closely with children’s hospices to ensure young adults have a smooth transition into adult care.

Supporting young adults aged 14 and upwards with progressive and life-limiting illnesses, Zest ensures all the young people, under its care, receive specialist support, tailored treatment and services needed to be able to enjoy life to the full.

Currently 36 young people and 124 family members utilise Zest’s services. From its industry unique Short Breaks, which allows young people to take time out from their daily routine and provides vital respite for families, through to its parent support group and monthly X-Change evening social group for patients, Zest enables young adults with challenging conditions to fulfil their aspirations.

More than 1,500 volunteers generously give their time to support Zest and St Elizabeth Hospice. These volunteers provide support in many ways, including working in the Zest retail shop, in Ipswich, or by working alongside Zest staff in supporting young adults at X-Change evenings and weekend drop in sessions.

One Zest volunteer is 18-year-old Lucas Morgans, a student at Suffolk One, who has been volunteering one day a week at the Ipswich Zest retail shop throughout summer 2022.

“My time volunteering at Zest has been really good and taught me a lot of new skills,” said Lucas, who lives in Ipswich.

“My placement at Zest has been organised as part of a work experience programme hosted by my college and it has given me a great insight into what a working day is like.”

Volunteering sees supporters donate any amount of time they are able to do so, with Lucas having flexibility to continue his studies and enjoy his hobbies – including going to the gym, gaming and playing darts – while still volunteering for Zest.

He added: “Volunteering is good because you are developing yourself but also supporting your local community which is a really rewarding thing to do.

“From sorting clothes, helping on tills and tidying the store, every day is different in the shop with new jobs to do and new skills to learn. Lucy and her team are very helpful and make you feel a part of the team.

“Everybody has a skill they can offer through volunteering and I think we can all benefit from volunteering and the new things you can learn. Even better still, you can do this while helping a charity which provides such a good service to the people who needs its support.”

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at Zest and St Elizabeth Hospice email or visit

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