Lancaster St John’s Hospice volunteers spread the word

Bruce Bayliss

Bruce Bayliss

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Lancaster St John’s Hospice volunteers have shared their experiences as the Neighbours Network project launches.

Ahead of Volunteers Week next week two volunteers have spoken out on why they joined the service that means so much to them.

Lorna Crossman

Lorna Crossman

The Slyne Road hospice has more than 400 volunteers all who have given 56,000 hours of their time last year.

Lorna Crossman has been volunteering there for two years and has now joined the Neighbours Network project which is designed to give practical help or companionship to a person living with a life limiting condition within their own home.

Lorna first started volunteering whilst still working with the Lancaster Advocacy Team and Citizens Advice Bureau.

She then went on to volunteer as a ward clerk and is now a pastoral support worker.

Lorna said: “I find the hospice a truly loving and interesting place to be.

“At the moment I am helping somebody with their garden, so from filing to gardening to learning hand massage, life as a volunteer is never boring!”

Volunteers Week, which takes place from June 1-7, celebrates the contribution of 23million people across the UK who volunteer in their communities.

Bruce Bayliss is one of these and has not looked back since retiring from work three years ago.

Mr Bayliss works three days a week in the maintenance team at Lancaster St John’s.

He said: “I never dreamed when I started volunteering that I could still learn new skills.

“No two days are the same and I might be asked to do the maintenance of the ward fixtures and fittings, fix leaking pipes, mend furniture, vehicle maintenance or help in other ways such as the collection of units of blood for transfusions and controlled drugs.

“The hospice is now a huge part of my life and I know that my contribution really makes a difference to the patients and staff.

“If we didn’t have volunteers some of the jobs just wouldn’t get done!”

During Volunteers Week hundreds of events will be taking place across the country.

Lorraine Swanson, volunteer coordinator at St Johns Hospice in Lancaster, said: “As the demand for our services grows, so does the need for additional volunteer support. All you need is enthusiasm and a desire to help.”

As part of the celebrations Lancaster St John’s Hospice is holding a volunteer recruitment day on Saturday June 6 from 11am until 2pm.

If you would like to find more about volunteering for your local hospice please call in.

Volunteer coordinators Nicky and Lisa can be contacted on 01524 382538.