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Saint Francis Hospice says thank you to those who help the service for National Volunteers' Week

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 June 2018

Left to right: Volunteers at Saint Francis Hospice Margaret Slocombe, Jo Eastman and Sue, Peter and Tracey Henwood.

Left to right: Volunteers at Saint Francis Hospice Margaret Slocombe, Jo Eastman and Sue, Peter and Tracey Henwood.

Saint Francis Hospice

As part of National Volunteers' Week, a charity would like to say a massive thank you to its hundreds of dedicated volunteers who continue to provide an invaluable service.

Saint Francis Hospice volunteer Jo Eastman with a sonography machine.Saint Francis Hospice volunteer Jo Eastman with a sonography machine.

With 840 volunteers who give 260,000 hours a year to Saint Francis Hospice, Havering-atte-Bower, those at the charity want to recognise their hard work in making a difference to patients and families affected by life-limiting illnesses.

Voluntary services manager Gill Wendelken said: “Saint Francis Hospice continues to be proud of its increasing number of wonderful volunteers, who are helping at the hospice, in retail and fundraising.

“So many wonderful local people giving their time, their skills and experiences, to help our patients, families and carers in a variety of ways.

“Our volunteers play such a vitally important role in everything the hospice does for the community.

“And to add to this good news – there is always room for more to join us.”

Margaret Slacombe, 75, from Upminster, has been volunteering for the past 15 years, from working on the reception desk in 2003 to supporting the specialist community and crisis support service with her office skills.

She said: “I wanted to do volunteer work and the hospice appealed to me as I wanted to do something to help people.

“I love it here as the team are absolutely brilliant and make me feel very welcome.”

It’s a family affair for one husband and wife duo who have been volunteering with the hospice for five years, with Sue in the retail team and Peter Henwood, both 67, as a photographer.

Their daughter-in-law Tracey has also been volunteering in the retail team since 2013.

Another volunteer who has really made a difference is 47-year-old Jo Eastman, who realised while her dad was under the care of the hopsice, that the charity didn’t have any ultra sound facilities.

With 20 years’ experience as a sonographer under her belt, in 2012 she started to volunteer and set up an ultrasound service so patients who need a scan can have their symptoms assessed.

Jo, from Upminster, said: “Volunteering at the hospice is the best part of my week as I am able to spend time with the patients and their loved ones.”

The hospice will formally thank its volunteers throughout June when it hosts its three annual Thank You evenings to bring its volunteers together to enjoy a meal and drinks.

To volunteer, call 01708 758614 or email volunteering@sfh.org.uk

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