Retired insurance underwriter Bob Clayfield says volunteering for Pendleside Hospice is the most rewarding thing he has done in his life especially when the work he is doing is directly helping individuals.
And during National Volunteers’ Week 2021 Pendleside praised its army of more than 500 volunteers for the work and effort they put in to help keep the hospice functioning.
Chief executive Helen McVey said: “Our volunteers play an essential and integral role in the delivery of hospice services at Pendleside. Without their help we would not be able to provide the level of support we give to the people who need our care. And this week, in particular, we want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their dedication and support. ”
Former rugby union referee Bob, 76, first got involved with Pendleside eight years ago and now helps deliver its meals on wheels which serves about 50 meals a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, across the Burnley and Pendle area.
He said: “For some of the people we deliver meals to we are the only people they see and talk to all week. It is all so very satisfying.”
Bob has also been delivering emergency covid tests from the hospice to the Royal Blackburn Hospital and before the day care service was temporarily closed because of the pandemic he gave lifts into the hospice for patients who didn’t have transport.
He said: “It doesn’t matter how many hours you can offer to the hospice you are most welcome as a volunteer as long as you meet the necessary criteria. Before my wife Barbara passed away she was one of the first dementia patients Pendleside looked after and the care they showed to her and myself at the time was so very welcome.”
Pendleside HR administrator Julie Hodgkinson said: “There are many areas where we rely on volunteers from driving, to helping in our nine charity shops, to gardeners, to reception staff and helping in the inpatients’ ward.
“For instance, when our shops are up running normally it needs a rota of between 15 and 20 people per shop to keep them open. So we are always on the look-out for new volunteers.”
One shop volunteer Sue Catlow, a retired business administrator and salesperson, offers her time at the Barrowford shop.
She said: “It’s a lovely atmosphere in which to work. You have great fun with both staff members and customers. You get a lot of regulars who you get to know and have a laugh with.
“It feels such a worthwhile job to do for such a wonderful charity which touches so many people in the Burnley and Pendle area. We all know family or friends who have received help from Pendleside. Working there is totally rewarding and such a great way to give something back.”
Mark Scott, Pendleside’s catering and domestic services manager, who oversees the meals on wheels service, said: “We started the service during Covid and it has been very popular but without the voluntary drivers it would be a non-starter.
“At the moment we have a team of between 25 and 30 who deliver meals every day of the week. Some work a one-day shift, some several, but however many a driver works it is invaluable to us.
“Drivers meet in the kitchen at about 11.30 and each delivers between six and eight meals within the next hour. All the meals are hot when they arrive at their destination and the service is prompt and on time every day.”
If you are interested in volunteering at Pendleside please complete the volunteer application form on the hospice’s website and send to Julie Hodgkinson either by post or email [email protected] or tel 01282 440105.