VOLUNTEER WEEK: Challenge yourself in 2017 and gain satisfaction from volunteering for St Catherine’s
Forget joining the gym or going on a diet – and all of the other cliché New Year’s resolutions which go out of the window come February – St Catherine’s Hospice and The Mill are encouraging people to consider challenging themselves in a more fulfilling way in 2017.
From working in a busy café to serving drinks to patients, or spending time working in the community shops, as a delivery driver, as a befriender in people’s homes, or gardening in the grounds of St Catherine’s Park – there are so many varied volunteering opportunities with the charity.
There’s something to suit all personalities and skills – from admin, catering, retail and patient care, to fundraising, events, and housekeeping. So if you have time on your hands, are prepared to undergo selection and training and like the idea of contributing to a worthy cause, all whilst meeting new people, gaining new experiences, or developing your CV, click here to see our current vacancies.
In the first of our week-long special series, Mill Advisor Janice Platt explains how she became involved in supporting St Catherine’s, and what she enjoys most about her role at the café.
Janice Platt – Mill Advisor
Janice Platt is using skills and expertise developed from years working in social services and teaching to make a real difference as a volunteer with St Catherine’s Hospice.
She spends one afternoon a week in the hospice’s café and community hub, The Mill, as a dedicated Mill Advisor.
She’s on hand to speak with customers about the services offered by the charity, such as carer and bereavement support, as well as sign-posting them to other organisations which can help with issues such as taxes, benefits and wills.
Janice, aged 60, from Whittle-le-Woods, says: “I’ve always donated to St Catherine’s ever since my brother was cared for here 10 years ago. When I retired this July after 40 years of full-time work, I knew immediately that I wanted to give something even more precious now that I can afford it; my time.
“I came into The Mill café one day and was greeted by a volunteer and decided that’s what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure I would cope working in the hospice building, so this seemed like a good way for me to give something back.
“I’m very comfortable speaking with people, and you have to judge if people are here because they want some company, advice or emotional support, or if they’re just here for a coffee or some lunch.
“I just ask people if I can help. Sometimes it’s just a case of handing out leaflets, so it’s very varied. I also clear tables or help keep the kitchen clean and tidy if that’s needed. There’s always something to do.”
Janice, who lives with her husband Allan, fits the role around her other responsibilities of caring for her elderly mother, and spending time with her grand-daughter.
She adds: “I underwent two days’ training with St Catherine’s for the Mill Advisor role, which helped immensely. I would really say to people considering volunteering to be brave and give it a go. You don’t realise until you start how rewarding it is, and St Catherine’s is such a big organisation that there’s something for everyone.”
To find out more about volunteering with St Catherine’s, click here, email email@example.com or call 01772 629171.
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