Local charity Hospiscare relies heavily on the support of their 1,050 volunteers, who give an average of 3,700 hours a week. This is equivalent to 98 full time workers and represents a massive £1.3m of volunteer support per year.
However, over the last few years Hospiscare have found it harder and harder to attract volunteers. As people are more pushed for time than ever before with the demands of modern life, it’s become a real challenge to engage supporters and sign them up to volunteer.
Des Gardiner, 63 from Exeter, has worked at Hospiscare for 9 years. He splits his working week between being a PAT Tester at the Warehouse Shop in Marsh Barton, and a housekeeper on the ward at Searle House. When the charity embarked on a campaign to increase shop volunteers by producing a light-hearted video, Des shared some hidden talents and put his flair for song writing, singing and music into the mix.
Des explained, “I knew exactly what we needed volunteers for, so it wasn’t difficult to put the song together. I wrote it in about three to four hours and wanted to tell the story of volunteering in the shops. There are no forced rhymes in there, it’s just a natural happy tune.
“There is no need to feel shy - come and join us! You can make a difference and it’s all for a great cause.
“I think people can sometimes underestimate themselves and say ‘I could never do that’, but we will welcome you with open arms. You’ll get taught how to use the tills in the shops and be fully supported in your volunteer role. It’s well within your capabilities.
“My mum died in a hospice when she was only 57. I love being involved with Hospiscare. I thoroughly believe in the principles that make Hospiscare what is it; a caring, passionate charity that seeks to show care and compassion in the field of palliative care. It’s a selfless way of serving others in need. You’re giving and not expecting anything in return.
“Hospiscare runs on the kindness of volunteers, we would be delighted if you could join us.”
Hospiscare is a local adult hospice charity, providing high quality care and support to people with any type of terminal illness, and those close to them, in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps to ensure the future of the charity in Devon for generations to come.