On Saturday 4 February, Treetops Hospice Care congratulated more than 60 volunteers and staff who between them have dedicated 410 years of support and commitment to the local hospice.
A total of sixty-seven 5-year and 10-year long service awards were presented to volunteers and staff from across all areas of the Risley-based hospice which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Amongst those being recognised is Allan Perkins, 77yrs, from Kirk Hallam, who has been a volunteer for Treetops for ten years:
“I’ve done lots of different roles as a volunteer. When I first arrived I came and worked in the offices helping to organise the drivers and it went on from there. I then retrained as a driver myself.
“I drive my own car and basically it’s a question of usually bringing a Day care guest here in the morning and then if I’m working in the afternoon as well, then I take them home again.
“The whole experience here is that I get more out of it than I put into it. You get to know people. If you bring a new person in for their first visit, they’re obviously a bit hesitant and worried about what it’s going to be like so I can put them at ease.
“Volunteering is very worthwhile – you get a good feeling out of helping people who need help. Quite a lot of people that I’ve driven say to me – this is the only time I get out in the week so of course if we didn’t have any volunteer drivers, we wouldn’t be able to get them here.
Allan has also been a volunteer trustee for two years and is a familiar face helping out at Treetops fundraising events throughout the year.
Treetops are currently advertising two new trustees with marketing and IT qualifications to advise the board at quarterly meetings throughout the year. Further information about the voluntary positions can be found on the charity’s website.
The presentations were part of an annual volunteer social as Imogen Hopkins, volunteer services coordinator explained:
“It’s been a really special day and a chance for us to acknowledge and thank all those that have been supporting us for such a long time.
“We’ve treated our volunteers to brunch, lunch and afternoon tea and they’ve been served by staff members – a chance for them to put their feet up for once after giving us so much time and time again!
“Today really reflects how everyone feels about the charity. It’s easy to say that Treetops is a lovely place to work, that it’s warm and welcoming and somewhere you can see the difference you make in people’s lives – here’s the proof!
“We always welcome more volunteers to join the team as there’s so many different ways people can help the hospice.”
Treetops services are available free of charge and include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.
Photo: Volunteers and staff celebrating long-service awards featuring front left – Allan Perkins