Thanks to the hospice’s unsung heroes

26th May 2021, 3:50pm | By Jill Crooks |

Prospect Hospice is shining a light on its volunteers during national Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2021) and thanking them for their crucial contribution during the past 12 months.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant many of the charity’s 800 volunteers have been unable to volunteer due to fundraising events being postponed and shops closing during lockdowns.

However, some volunteers have taken on different roles enabling the hospice to continue its vital work.

These include Linda Byron and Lyn Smith, who both live locally to the hospice in Wroughton, Swindon, and are undertaking reception duties.

Linda is helping on both the hospice’s front desk reception and the inpatient unit reception, taking phone calls and helping with Covid-19 testing as visitors come to see loved ones. Before the pandemic Linda was volunteering in the hospice’s café and day therapy unit.

But with the hospice closed to general visitors, her role in the café was suspended. When the hospice appealed for volunteers to help on its main reception desk she and Lyn came forward.

Linda said: “I love to help in any way and get so much satisfaction knowing that I am helping such a great cause.”

Lyn said: “I worked as a senior secretary for Halcrow, but in my early career I was a nurse at Princess Margaret Hospital, Swindon, so I felt I had the skills and experience to support the reception desk.

“When I retired I wanted to volunteer in the local community. I love helping people and this is such a worthwhile thing to do.”

Su Starkey, head of volunteering, learning and inclusion at Prospect Hospice, said: “All of our volunteers are truly fantastic and we would not be able to do what we do without them. They are our unsung heroes and dedicate so much time and energy to help us wherever they can.

“Due to the pandemic, a number of the volunteers’ roles are on hold but that hasn’t stopped our volunteers wanting to help, such as Linda and Lyn who have taken on different roles at the hospice’s reception desks.

“We can’t wait to welcome all of our volunteers back to their roles when things return to normal but in the meantime we want to say a huge thank you for everything they do for us.”

Currently the hospice is seeking more volunteers for its charity shops, which have been well supported by customers since re-opening in April. If you are interested please email volunteering@prospect-hospice.net or call the team on 07884 261259.

Prospect Hospice is a charity providing end-of-life care to people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It serves a community of more than 300,000 people in Swindon and north east Wiltshire, including Royal Wootton Bassett, Cricklade, Marlborough and Pewsey.

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