Volunteers honoured at St Francis Hospice

Ron Ayris, 86, has been honoured for 20 years' service as a volunteer for St Francis Hospice.

Ron Ayris, 86, has been honoured for 20 years' service as a volunteer for St Francis Hospice. - Credit: Archant

Dedicated volunteers are being celebrated and thanked by St Francis Hospice.

Joyce Jones, of Upminster, received a certificate from chairman of St Francis Hospice Dr Robert Weat

Joyce Jones, of Upminster, received a certificate from chairman of St Francis Hospice Dr Robert Weatherstone in recognition of 25 years' voluntary service. - Credit: Archant

Dedicated volunteers are being celebrated and thanked by St Francis Hospice.

Last Wednesday, June 5, The hospice Hospice held the first of three thank you evenings for its helpers to coincide with Volunteers Week (June 1 to 7).

Joyce Jones, of Upminster, who has volunteered for 25 years, received a long-service award.

She began volunteering in 1988 as a ward visitor and later joined the bereavement counselling team before working in the hospice shop.

“I feel the hospice is the most valuable thing we have in this area,” said Joyce. “At the hospice, patients are given individual care and allowed to live comfortably.”

Fundraiser Mary Campbell, of Romford, and Paul Freedman MBE, of Hornchurch, who volunteers on the inpatient unit serving refreshments and talking to patients and families at Christmas, each received a certificate to mark 20 years’ service.

Most Read

Ron Ayris, 86, of Upminster, who drives patients between home and the day hospice and also helps the estates team was also honoured for 20 years’ service.

Ron began volunteering after his sister-in-law was cared for by the hospice.

“Over the 20 years, I reckon I’ve driven 46,000 miles on behalf of the hospice and I’m still happy to help now,” said Ron.

Gill Wendelken, voluntary services manager, said: “Volunteers are a valuable part of St Francis Hospice and the life experiences they bring with them are priceless.

“The support of people willing to give their time for free and share their skills enables us to care for so many patients and relatives a year and keep up with the administration, gardening, fundraising and other areas they support.

“If we were to replace volunteers with paid staff it would cost almost £2 million a year, so we really appreciate peoples’ generosity.”

Call 01708 753319 or visit www.sfh.org.uk for information on volunteering.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter