Calling all former and retired volunteers... there's a new social club in town.

Old friendships were rekindled at the inaugural meeting of a new social club.

Former and retired volunteers of St Andrew’s Hospice met for afternoon tea in The Hub at the hospice, the new community space and servery created as part of a two-year £6.5-million redevelopment.

Jane Martin, HR manager at the charity, said: “Since we first established our services over thirty years ago, the hospice has been largely reliant on volunteers to operate, and hundreds of people have been involved over the years.

“Many ex-volunteers stay in touch with each other, but some do not, so we decided to launch a social club. I’m delighted to say that attendance of the first meeting was super, and we are now going forward with the idea.

“It was great to see old friends reunite and catch up. We hope this will become a monthly gathering and that ideas will develop, for example, organising day trips and hosting events.”

At the helm of the club is Jean Frith. She has been involved with the hospice for 20 years, and is currently the volunteer manager at the charity’s Second Gear shop in Scartho.

Her first position at the hospice was as the Volunteer Services Organiser, and for several years she recruited volunteers and placed them in appropriate roles. For the last 15 years, Jean has volunteered within the retail team.

She explained: “The people we are trying to reconnect with are those who I was probably instrumental in recruiting. It was 20 years ago now, so we are all 20 years older!

“The afternoon tea was specifically aimed at former volunteers of the hospice and also those who have retired from volunteering, and this is not a one-off. The aim is for people to reconnect with each other and the hospice too.

“I know from first-hand experience that there are many people who have been involved with the hospice over the years. I recruited literally hundreds, and it would be great to see them again.”

She added: “Volunteers are a huge part of the hospice and it wouldn’t continue without them; it has an army of more than 500, and each and every department is supported. It’s a wonderful thing.

“The volunteers I currently work with are very good friends; they go on holiday together, and for lunches. Second Gear is a wonderful place to work, and I would encourage anyone to get involved with the hospice in general. It’s a very satisfying feeling, knowing you’re contributing to such an essential service that helps so many people.”

The next social club meeting, open to all former and retired volunteers, takes place at St Andrew’s Hopsice on Monday, July 11 from 1.30pm to 4pm. Please confirm your attendance by calling Jane Martin on 01472 571234 or email jane.martin11@nhs.net

 

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