This National Volunteers Week, 1-7 June, Willow Wood is celebrating the part its volunteers play in keeping the Tameside and Glossop Hospice at the forefront of Hospice care.

Mark Llewellin, vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, explains, “As we are gradually returning to normal our volunteers are once more taking up their roles throughout the Hospice. Although we are still not yet up to full strength, last month alone we calculated that, at minimum wage, our volunteers saved us around £60,000. And as a number of our volunteers work in highly skilled areas such as Health & Safety or Complementary Therapies and others mentor us in specialist skills, the true figure would be much higher!

“Without our volunteers there is no doubt that we would not be able to maintain and develop our specialised and loving care to our patients and their loved ones.”

Lisa Pye, volunteer services manager, agrees. “Our volunteers work in every area of the Hospice. The very first person you will meet if you walk through our doors will be a volunteer receptionist. The skills, professionalism and dedication of our nearly 600 strong team are something we are very proud of, and their commitment was recognised back in 2016 with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the equivalent of the MBE for volunteer groups.

“On Saturday we held a tea party for those volunteers who had completed five, ten, fifteen, twenty and even twenty-five years of service with us where they received their long service award. And this week myself, members of the senior management team and board members will be out and about every day thanking our volunteers personally and handing out specially baked cupcakes.

“Of course, there is always room at the Hospice for more volunteers. As we continue to expand and develop our services, we also need more support. Whether working in Willow Wood itself, helping at fundraising events or serving in our shops, there are plenty of opportunities, details of which can be found online at”

This week is not the only time that volunteers are celebrated. Later in the year the Hospice holds a massive party and this year will be the first one since 2019. “We’re hoping to make this the biggest and best party ever” said Mark “and for the first time this year we are looking for local businesses to sponsor the party. Whether you can help cover the costs of dressing the room, the refreshments, or even become a headline sponsor we would be very grateful. Again, you can find information on costs and benefits on our website. But in the meantime, please join us in paying thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers. They are simply the best.”

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