Volunteers’ time worth £1 million to Edinburgh Hospice

Categories: Community Engagement.

The hospice has nearly 700 volunteers who work alongside staff to deliver care and support to patients and families from across Edinburgh and the Lothians. Data was collected for the year April 2016 – March 2017, and showed that volunteers’ ages varied between 16 – 92, and 64,000 hours were donated during the year

The study also showed the different roles undertaken by the volunteers, including on the wards and in the day hospice, offering complementary therapies, handling calls on reception, driving day patients to the charity’s Granton site, offering specialist counselling and even bringing in their pets as “therapets.”

Most volunteers worked in the charity shops, the tin collectors team, and the hospice’s Iona Café.

Anne Cruickshank, a patient, said:

“The volunteers at the hospice are outstanding. My hair was getting awfully long and it’s a long way to the hairdresser, so I was able to visit the volunteer hairdresser at the hospice instead who took me that day, I couldn’t believe it!”

Pat Brown, a tin collector, commented on her experience of volunteering:

“I wanted to be a volunteer and do something outside. Volunteering for the hospice runs in my family as my mum was a volunteer in the Iona Café in the original building some 30 years ago. I love being a volunteer because I enjoy meeting other volunteers, and building relationships with people. I am always impressed by the amount of positive comments I hear from people about the Hospice when I am out in the community.”

Karen Filsell, the volunteer services manager, said:

“Everyone at St Columba’s Hospice is proud that volunteers have been involved since we first opened our doors four decades ago in 1977. Even before our doors opened, volunteers were working hard to raise money and support to set up the hospice. Almost 700 people currently volunteer alongside our dedicated staff here at the hospice, in our shops and out in the community.”

“Over the past year, the time that our volunteers have given us can be valued at £1 million – but the care, skills, kindness and energy that our volunteers bring is worth much more than this to the people that we support. We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who volunteer for us – and we look forward to welcoming volunteers for the next 40 years.”

For more information visit St Columba’s Hospice