Volunteer recruitment open day at St Barnabas House hospice to boost team that is '˜the backbone of the charity'

St Barnabas House hospice is opening its doors to anyone looking for a rewarding volunteering experience.

Even if you have only a few hours to spare, you can make a big difference to the Worthing-based charity, which covers the area from Southwick to Littlehampton and north to Steyning and Henfield.

The hospice, in Titnore Lane, will be holding an informal volunteer recruitment open day on Friday, January 18, from 10am to 3pm. Parking is free and refreshments will be available.

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Mark Francis, voluntary services lead, said: “Volunteers are the backbone of the charity and I am constantly amazed by their enthusiasm and passion. We want to support volunteers in finding the right role for them and offer an induction to the organisation and full training.

Joe Bryant, maintenance volunteer, has made new friends through volunteering at St Barnabas House

“The recruitment open day is a great chance for potential new volunteers to informally meet some of our current wonderful volunteers. It’s also an opportunity to find out more about the variety of different roles and benefits of volunteering for St Barnabas House.”

Volunteering is a great way of trying something new, gaining new skills and experience, meeting people and giving something back. For some roles, the hospice asks for a regular commitment but others are needed only on an ad hoc basis.

Joe Bryant, 72, from Shoreham, has volunteered in the maintenance team for 11 months and says he has made friends for life.

Joe said: “I had never done voluntary work before in my life, it had never even crossed my mind. I decided to volunteer as I wanted to give something back after losing my wife in the hospice.

“When my wife was ill, I used to sit in the cafeteria where I met volunteers who were so kind to me. They said ‘if ever you need to come in here for a coffee and a little chat, then let us know’.

“A few months after I lost my wife, I remembered how nice they had been to me so I took them up on their offer. Now I’ve made friendships that I would never have made otherwise.”

St Barnabas House depends on more than 1,500 dedicated volunteers, who help in the hospice, in its charity shops and at fundraising events across West Sussex.

Volunteers make a big difference to the lives of patients and their families during difficult times. In 2017/18, hospice-based volunteers provided 35,839 hours of support, saving the hospice £514,211.

The charity said it prides itself on being able to offer a wide range of volunteer roles to suit all ages, skills and interests. Roles include community companions visiting patients in their own homes, serving meals in the day hospice, greeting visitors to the in-patient unit, drivers collecting and dropping off patients, family services visitors offering bereavement support and behind-the-scenes roles such as administration, fundraising event support, maintenance and gardening.

You can drop in to the recruitment open day, call 01903 706315, email [email protected] or visit www.stbh.org.uk/volunteering for more information.