Volunteers are the heart of the hospice (1)

It’s Volunteers Week and St. Joseph’s Hospice is celebrating and championing all the inspiring volunteers who keep the hospice going every single day. 

Over one hundred volunteers from across Merseyside give up their own time every week to work in one of the charity’s shops and it is one of the most valuable ways of supporting the hospice but they need more!

The hospice’s shops are a crucial source of income for the charity, raising over £100k each year and this money goes directly towards providing end of life and palliative care for patients as well as support for their families.

Val Wilson (71), from Maghull, is one of around a hundred volunteers who give up their own time every week to help in one of the hospice’s shops.

Val started volunteering at the St. Joseph’s Hospice shop, on Westway in Maghull, a year ago. She is also a carer for her husband Eric who is wheelchair bound following two strokes and so she spends most of her time caring for him. However, she is dedicated to supporting the hospice as much as she can in what little free time she has.

Val said: “I would recommend shop volunteering to anyone. It’s amazing. You meet so many lovely people from staff and customers to volunteers and I really look forward to going in each week.”

Val’s daughter first encouraged her to do some volunteering as she spends so much time at home caring for Eric so one day, when she was on her way to do some shopping, she just popped in to the hospice shop and was given a very warm welcome by Susan, the shop manager.

Val also volunteers for the Stroke Association every two weeks, supporting stroke patients at a social club in Netherton.

Susan Smith, manager at the St. Joseph’s Hospice shop in Maghull, said: “Volunteering is a fantastic way to get out and about and make new friends and Val, like all our volunteers, is a real inspiration. She has so many other responsibilities but she always makes time for the hospice and on top of her weekly shift, she will always step in at short notice if needed.

“Volunteering is a two way thing because as well as the hospice benefitting hugely from her time; she also gets a lot out of it. Our shops provide a really caring and supportive network and that can be a real lifeline.”

The hospice is holding a special shop volunteer open day on Sunday 10th June from 2pm to 4pm for anyone who would like to find out more about shop volunteering.

If you could help or would like to come along to our shop volunteer open day, please call 0151 932 6046 or email siobhan.clinton@jospice.org.uk.