Why Richard Volunteers…

Richard is one of our many amazing volunteers who gives up his time to support the Hospice. He plays a vital role in our Treecycling campaign and we’re very thankful. Here’s Richard sharing his story…

Why did you choose to volunteer for Birmingham St Mary’s?

My mother died in the Hospice (20 years ago), so when I was nearing retirement and looking for an opportunity to volunteer for a local charity, an advert on the website offered just what I needed – the chance to use some of my business skills and experience and energy in a beneficial way, and to do something for the Hospice in return for their care and support many years ago.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for us?

I work on projects that suit my skills, I get out and about in the community, I love working in a team of friendly young people who work together for a great cause and seem to be having fun; and I like doing something useful for others.

What have you learnt since volunteering for us? About yourself, about hospices and about how you feel about death and dying

Me – although I was in a senior position in business, when you start something new you must start again to build up relationships and trust with new colleagues so that they know you will deliver – only then will you be allowed to get on with a project.

Hospices – I’ve learned a lot about the work of the Hospice and its future strategy – enough to enable me to do presentations and thank you speeches as an Ambassador, and more importantly, enough to make me interested in knowing more about the business aspects so that I can bring more of my skills and experience to the benefit of the Hospice

About death and dying – not a huge amount, other than that there are people at the Hospice who are wonderful in helping people who need them. But – and this is a big ‘but’ – volunteering at a hospice can involve so many things, many of which are support roles. To be honest, I don’t believe I could undertake the patient or family-related roles.

How would you describe what Birmingham St Mary’s is all about?

  • Amazing all round care in many settings
  • Reaching out to a wider community and increasing awareness of all that we do and the resources we need to deliver our services
  • Learning and development
  • Maintaining the resources to do all the above

The second and fourth points are the most important parts for me personally and where I hope I can make a difference

What advice would you give to other people who are thinking about volunteering?

  • Find a cause you believe in and really want to help
  • Take time and be patient in building up relationships
  • Try and get involved with activities you enjoy – everyone gets more out of it that way
  • Get your family or friends involved
  • Be committed – the more you put in the more you get out

Thank you Richard for sharing your thoughts on volunteering for Birmingham St Mary’s. Without your help, we couldn’t carry out our Treecycling campaign.

If you have a real Christmas tree and would like us to recycle it for you, please book early to avoid missing out. To find out more about volunteering at the Hospice, please visit our Volunteering section!


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