Hospice volunteers make a huge difference - but more help needed

Sarah - a volunteer at St Wilfrid's Hospice
Sarah - a volunteer at St Wilfrid's Hospice
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HOW can anyone put into words how patients feel when they have been diagnosed with an incurable illness and near the end of their lives?

The pain has been eased for some people, to be exact more than 15,000 during the past 28 years, thanks to the bold efforts of St Wilfrid’s Hospice - helping loved ones to live actively and positively until they die in a peaceful environment.

Residents from across the Wealden District have been supported by the Eastbourne-based charity which gives skilled and compassionate care free-of-charge for any patient referred to the hospice by a doctor or nurse. Nearly a third of patients are under the age of 65.

The backbone of all this support has come from the hard work, compassion and enthusiasm of more than 500 volunteers from the age of 16 upwards.

Today (June 1) marks the beginning of National Volunteers Week and St Wilfrid’s has launched a new campagin – Campaign Hospice Reach – pleading for more people to support the hospice.

Alex Burrough, volunteer services co-ordinator, at the hospice, said extra help was always needed.

Mrs Burrough said: “We couldn’t operate without the support of our local community and our amazing team of volunteers. We can’t thank them enough.

“We’re expanding the work of our shops and will need many more volunteers to support us. We are holding a volunteer recruitment event between 10am and 4pm at the Lansdowne Hotel in Eastbourne on June 12 where you can drop in and find out more.”

Hospices look after not only people’s physical needs but also their spiritual, emotional and social needs too with support for families and close friends.

Sarah Jenkin (pictured) said volunteering at the hospice was ‘uplifting and I enjoy the friendly environment here’. St Wilfrid’s cared for her mother who died at the hospice in March 2010.

“For my brother and I, who is also a volunteer, the hospice remains a place of comfort due to the love and compassion shown by all the staff, and their continuing support as we move forward in our lives.

Wou` Is there time in your week that you could give as a hospice volunteer? www.stwhospice.org to download an application form, or tel: 01323 637845.