Hospice volunteer ‘so grateful’ for new food delivery service during lockdown
A St Catherine’s Hospice volunteer has spoken of her gratitude for the charity’s new food delivery service whilst she is socially isolated during lockdown.
Some of the charity’s services and activities are affected because of the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning many of the 900 volunteers are currently unable to carry out their roles such as in the shops and at the hospice’s popular café, The Mill, which are temporarily closed.
St Catherine’s is supporting its valued volunteers through the crisis, with staff keeping in regular contact – especially with those who are socially isolated – and a food delivery service being offered for those who require it.
One of the charity’s 80-year-old volunteers from Leyland said: “At the start of all of this I saw on the news that people were panic buying, and I managed to do a shop before the lockdown but I just kept thinking, ‘how on Earth am I going to get food in the future?’
“I live alone and most of my family live a considerable distance away; I was starting to feel fairly desperate. All my life I have tried to do what I can to help others, and now I feel utterly dependant. There were no slots available for internet shopping and I was really starting to worry.
“Then Cheryl from the St Catherine’s support team contacted me about the new food delivery service they were providing for volunteers who need it, and it felt like a miracle. It is such a kind gesture and so vital for me at this time. I am very grateful.
“I put an order in every fortnight and it just makes such a difference; the fact that the hospice is there for me when I need them is just amazing, it’s really wonderful. I’d like to let them know how thankful I am.”
Cheryl Scott, Support Team Manager at St Catherine’s, said: “St Catherine’s simply wouldn’t be here without the unwavering commitment and generosity of our fantastic volunteers, who give their time to support our important work in a wide range of roles.
“For some it’s a very different way of volunteering as most of them can’t undertake their usual roles and we know that some are finding it difficult because they still want to help. Volunteering also keeps people busy and offers the opportunity to socialise and meet new people, so it’s a very tough time for people.
“Our priority is that our volunteers stay safe, and now is our chance to be there for them as they have so selflessly been here for us over the years. We want to do what we can to help their mental wellbeing as well as offer practical support where we can.
“We’re keeping in touch and reaching out, and our catering team from The Mill are putting food orders together and delivering them to our most isolated and vulnerable volunteers.”
Cheryl adds: “We’re adapting the ways we work right across the organisation to make sure that we continue to provide specialist care and support to people with life-shortening illnesses and their loved ones. Everyone is really pulling together and adjusting to the changes, and we’re immensely grateful to our communities for their on-going, incredible support.
“We’re thinking of all of our wonderful volunteers and supporters during this challenging time, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back to St Catherine’s, our shops and café when it is safe to do so.”
The hospice is currently receiving weekly food donations from an anonymous sponsor through the charity Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, which is helping to provide orders for the scheme.
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