Hospice volunteers and staff

On Saturday 4 February, Treetops Hospice Care congratulated more than 60 volunteers and staff who between them have dedicated 410 years of support and commitment to the local hospice.

A total of sixty-seven 5-year and 10-year long service awards were presented to volunteers and staff from across all areas of the Risley-based hospice which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The best employers I’ve ever had

Jennifer Mountford receives long service awardAmongst those being recognised was Jennifer Mountford, 62yrs from Swadlincote, who has been a Hospice at Home nurse for the charity for five years:

“I used to do community care for quite a few years and ran my own home care business and during this work I came across Treetops nurses, got talking to them and felt that I would like to do this as well.

“Once a month we have lectures and training on different things and it’s also a chance for us all to come together and have a good chat and get to know each other.

“I absolutely love it here and I think that they’re the best employers I’ve ever had. They care about the hospice patients but they are there for us as well – for the staff and volunteers. They are kind, caring and supportive.”

I get more out of it than I put into it

Hospice recognises 410 years of support  Allan Perkins, 77yrs, from Kirk Hallam, received his ten-year award for volunteering:

“I’ve done lots of different roles as a volunteer. When I first arrived I came and worked in the offices helping to organise the drivers and it went on from there. I then retrained as a driver myself. I drive my own car and basically it’s a question of usually bringing a Day care guest here in the morning and then if I’m working in the afternoon as well, then I take them home again.

“The whole experience here is that I get more out of it than I put into it. You get to know people. If you bring a new person in for their first visit, they’re obviously a bit hesitant and worried about what it’s going to be like so I can put them at ease.

“Volunteering is very worthwhile – you get a good feeling out of helping people who need help. Quite a lot of people that I’ve driven say to me – this is the only time I get out in the week so of course if we didn’t have any volunteer drivers, we wouldn’t be able to get them here.

Allan has also been a volunteer trustee for two years and is a familiar face helping out at Treetops fundraising events throughout the year.

Hospice volunteers and staffSee the difference you make in people’s lives

The presentations were part of an annual volunteer social as Imogen Hopkins, volunteer services coordinator explained:

“It’s been a really special day and a chance for us to acknowledge and thank all those that have been supporting us for such a long time.

“We’ve treated our volunteers to brunch, lunch and afternoon tea and they’ve been served by staff members – a chance for them to put their feet up for once after giving us so much time and time again!

“Today really reflects how everyone feels about the charity. It’s easy to say that Treetops is a lovely place to work, that it’s warm and welcoming and somewhere you can see the difference you make in people’s lives – here’s the proof!

“We always welcome more volunteers to join the team as there’s so many different ways people can help the hospice.”

Treetops services are available free of charge and include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.