St Christopher’s Hospice recognised with accolade for effective contribution of volunteers

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, Featured, and Leadership.

St Christopher’s has been recognised for its efforts in valuing volunteers with the award of the coveted Investing in Volunteers accolade. The quality standard demonstrates the valuable experience volunteers have when supporting St Christopher’s.

In recent years St Christopher’s has had the support of some 1200 volunteers who help across the hospice’s projects, from working in shops and delivering food parcels to taking part in our popular Compassionate Neighbour scheme.

The accolade was unveiled at the culmination of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and a recorded version can be watched on the St Christophers YouTube channel at:

Throughout Volunteers’ Week, St Christopher’s celebrated their volunteers in a variety of ways, including Volunteer Roadshows and a Volunteers’ Week ‘takeover’ at their shops across south-east London throughout the week. Stories of volunteers were shared across social media.

R-L), Joint Chief Executives Shaun O’Leary and Heather Richardson, with Strategic Volunteering Lead Rebecca Turner, Director of People and Organisational Development  Mandy Piper-Killick, Volunteering Co-Ordinator Julie Ellis-Strong, People Services Manager Teresa Gonnella and People Services Assistant Tayla Thomas.

Strategic Volunteer Lead at St Christopher’s Hospice, Rebecca Turner, said:

“Volunteers provide St Christopher’s with their time, expertise and support so we can care for thousands of people across south east London. They keep our charity shops running smoothly, help out at fundraising events, support patients and families, provide administrative help, professional development for staff and keep our gardens looking beautiful.

“We are proud that St Christopher’s has achieved the Investing in Volunteers award for good practice in volunteer management. Volunteers are a vital part of our team and this award demonstrates that we recognise that volunteers are given the right support. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the staff and volunteers who assisted with the accreditation process, through being interviewed, completing a questionnaire or by participating in the Investing in Volunteers Task and Finish Group.”

Stephen Rea, who has volunteered at St Christopher’s Hospice since 2010 and was interviewed by the awarding body, welcomed the accolade. He said:

“It was a very genuine attempt to listen to what volunteers had to say and also to be aware of what they needed and what they wanted, it wasn’t just a box-ticking exercise. The welfare of the volunteers is considered and you always have someone to talk to if you need advice.”

On his volunteering, which includes working on the child bereavement service, Candle, he said: “You build up friendships, we’ve been meeting up [during COVID-19] when we’ve been able to for picnics, meetings or meals. That contact keeps us going too, that friendship, building community and making sure the service is relevant to the community.”

The award was issued following interviews with both staff and volunteers across St Christopher’s. The hospice was assessed against six quality areas and was found to excel in all aspects of working with its volunteers.

Denise Haward, Chair of awarding body UK Volunteering Forum, said:

“UKVF is delighted to announce St Christopher’s Hospice’s successful achievement of this award. They have demonstrated a real commitment to volunteering, proving that their volunteer management policies and procedures meet nationally recognised standards.”

Investing in Volunteers is unique in that it is the only standard that focuses on volunteers. It is based on the following six quality areas:

1. Vision for Volunteering
2. Planning for Volunteers
3. Volunteer inclusion
4. Recruiting and welcoming Volunteers
5. Supporting Volunteers
6. Valuing and developing Volunteers

Delivered by the three national volunteering infrastructure bodies, Volunteer Scotland, Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Investing in Volunteers enables organisations across the UK to achieve the award.

For further information contact: Jenny Lynn Taylor –

Lead photo is of volunteers Peggy, Ann and Betty with their certificates. Their certificates were awarded for their role in supporting the clinical team through the pandemic by putting together PPE at home and on site.

About St Christopher’s Hospice

  • St Christopher’s Hospice is a globally recognised provider and educator in palliative care
  • The south east London based hospice provides high quality palliative and end of life care for the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
  • St Christopher’s also provides specialist education courses – locally, nationally and internationally – to help realise a world where all dying people and those close to them get the care and support that they need
  • The aim of palliative care is to help people live well until they die; it’s not just about care for the very final days of life. Last year the hospice provided care and support to over 7,500 local people in need; from gym sessions and art therapy to complementary therapies, social work and welfare support, end of life care and
    bereavement support
  • St Christopher’s Hospice has two buildings. The site in Sydenham has hospice beds, a gym, a community social space and café, gardens and an education centre. Its smaller Orpington building has a social space, gym, café and gardens. Community events are open to everyone at each site
  • The vast majority of St Christopher’s care is offered in the community rather than in its two buildings. Last year over 14,000 visits were made to people’s homes, or care homes
  • The hospice was founded in Sydenham by pioneer Dame Cicely Saunders, who started the global hospice movement with the opening of St Christopher’s in 1967
  • St Christopher’s is a charity and it costs £23 million every year to run its services. Around a third of this funding comes from the NHS; the remaining £15 million has to be fundraised
  • Support can be offered to the hospice through donations, gifts in Wills, volunteering or shopping/donating at one of its 26 local high street shops, located across south east of London
  • St Christopher’s has over 500 staff and over 1,200 volunteers.

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