Birmingham hospice gives back for National Volunteers Week

‘Thank you’ event staged for voluntary workers.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice championed the dedication of its volunteers with a two-day celebration ahead of National Volunteers Week taking place from 1st-7th June.

The independent charity – which provides vital care and support to people with terminal illness across Birmingham and Sandwell – hosted a carnival on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May, to ‘give back’ to those who make a difference to the individuals and families that use the Hospice’s services.

The festivities, which included crafts and traditional fayre games, honoured members of the community who give up their time to help raise funds, offer a listening ear, support with admin, catering, gardening and more at the Selly Oak-based organisation.

Last year, the 500-strong volunteer team provided an outstanding 100,488 hours of their time for free, equating to £754k had they been paid members of staff.

Michael Price, who has volunteered with the catering team at the Hospice for 20 years, has recently been awarded the prestigious Order of Mercy medal for his dedicated service. This is a national honour awarded by The League of Mercy Foundation, to fifty individuals across the UK per year. Michael said: “I was finally encouraged to volunteer after both my father-in-law and colleague were treated at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. After witnessing the hard-work of its staff, I too wanted to give something back to society.

“I’ve met some fantastic people and patients through volunteering and since retiring, it has kept me occupied and my mind active. I completely believe that the more you put in, the more you get out and so although I’ve been supporting the Hospice, it has also been supporting me.”

Tina Swani, CEO of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Whether it’s helping out in one of our shops or providing bereavement support to individuals, without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to provide such a wide range of services to support local families living with terminal illness. Our two-day carnival was a celebration of this and it was fantastic to give back to those who give so much to us.

“Whilst we have a committed team of volunteers, we are always encouraging more people to get involved – even just a couple of hours a week can make a real impact. Volunteering is a fantastic way of boosting key skills needed for the workplace, as well as an opportunity to make new friends.”

If you would like to volunteer for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, visit their website