Praise for Hospice at Home Volunteers

 

Left to right: Kevin Shales of Pembrokeshire County Council, presenting the plaque to Judith Williams, grant development officer at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, Cllr Thomas Tudor, Gill Jones, volunteer store supervisor, and Eleanor Evans, volunteer officer, at Paul Sartori Hospice at Home

Volunteer support is essential in running any local charity, but particularly for Paul Sartori Hospice at Home. Volunteers really are at the heart of what the charity does and make a big difference. The charity has volunteers in all areas of the organisation, such as admin, events, fundraising, clinical and retail. The charity operates 10 charity shops in the county, known as Sartori Stores, and relies on its pool of volunteers to assist in generating vital income to support its clinical services.

Paul Sartori Hospice at Home has experienced many challenges over the past 24 months, with its Sartori Stores going through difficult times – closing, opening and closing again, due to the pandemic. During this time the stores also witnessed a decrease in the number of available volunteers to help.

In 2021, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home was awarded £29,800 through the Pembrokeshire County Council Enhancing Pembrokeshire grant scheme to develop the We Care: Volunteering Support project. The aim was to recruit and train more volunteers to assist in generating vital income to support the clinical services – 46 new volunteers were recruited during the project, and many received new training.

The project also aimed to increase community engagement and opportunities to connect people. Open days were held at various Sartori Stores throughout Pembrokeshire and new social events were organised including a car treasure hunt, beach walks and more recently an online quiz. These events have offered volunteers the opportunity to come together, often for the first time since covid, and meet other like-minded members from across the organisation.

Eleanor Evans, the volunteering officer, was recruited to coordinate the project and undertook this role initially on a secondment basis leaving a store management post in the Sartori Store in Fishguard. This project has enabled the charity to reflect on the importance of supporting volunteers in their roles. The Paul Sartori Board of Trustees has now agreed to continue Eleanor’s employment post-funding. This significant step for the charity highlights the importance of sustaining and enhancing its volunteer structure.

Eleanor has a wealth of experience, not only within the charity but also working alongside volunteers, and is looking forward to her permanent role in helping to manage the hundreds of volunteers who give their time generously to support the charity in various roles. She will focus on a number of initiatives for the benefit of volunteers which will include the development of a new volunteering strategy, a new yearly volunteer event programme and new training opportunities.

County councillor Thomas Tudor said: “I was delighted to meet members of Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, along with Kevin Shales, community development officer for Pembrokeshire County Council and present the plaque recognising the funding from the PCC Enhancing Pembrokeshire grant. I would like to thank the volunteers and staff for their dedication in helping to provide much-needed services in our community.”

Eleanor said: “Recruitment has been challenging during the pandemic but people are now starting to feel comfortable with volunteering again. Currently we are very keen to recruit volunteers for our stores in Bridge Street, Haverfordwest and Tenby. We offer training for all volunteer roles. We hope to organise some try-out days in our stores in the near future to offer a taster session of volunteering to all who are interested. I thoroughly enjoy working with all our fantastic volunteers without whom we would not be able to generate funds for our clinical services.”

If you or somebody you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Eleanor: eleanor@paulsartori.org, phone 01437 763223, or visit www.paulsartori.org for more information.

 

 

 

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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