“I initially joined St Oswald’s Hospice in August 2019 as Communication and Marketing Assistant. Before joining our brilliant and hard-working Comms and Marketing Team, I was working in the private marketing sector and my desire was to find a job where my efforts could make a positive impact on the community. When I read about all the amazing work that St Oswald’s Hospice does, I immediately applied. I didn’t know much about hospice care at the time and I remember feeling a bit apprehensive going for my interview but, fast forward to my first week in the post and I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be.
“Working with our Comms and Marketing Team had been such a positive and motivating experience for me that when another part-time vacancy in the Volunteering Department opened up, I didn’t think twice about applying. Ever since my university days, volunteering has been a big part of my life and allowed me to make all kind of eye-opening and life-changing experiences. In fact, not many people know that I’ve been an ‘EVS’ (European Voluntary Service) volunteer in the past and that joining an international volunteer service is actually the reason I moved to the UK from Italy in 2018. Being so passionate about volunteering, I was no less than thrilled to learn that I was given the opportunity to work with volunteers in such an impactful charity. This gave me the chance to witness first-hand what a huge difference volunteers make on a daily basis and so my journey in the volunteering sector continued…
“In my current full time role as Volunteering Development Officer no two days are the same, although St Oswald’s volunteers are always at the heart of everything I do. In this role, my main focus is to support and develop a meaningful and high quality volunteering programme that allows individuals to give back to their community whilst having the best possible experience in our organisation. This means identifying relevant volunteering opportunities, supporting departments with recruitment coordination and induction activities, supporting communication activities and ironing out any issues that might arise, among many other things. From recruitment to retention, the volunteer journey can be long and multi-faceted, with volunteers staying with us for years and taking on multiple roles, or bite-sized and focused on a specific outcome. But no matter how different volunteers’ journeys are, my main goal is to make our volunteers feel supported, valued and safe throughout their time with us.
“My favourite part about my job is having the chance to meet so many generous and kind individuals from a great variety of age groups and backgrounds, each with their own unique story, hopes for the future, set of skills and reasons to support the Hospice. I find this exchange highly stimulating and inspiring! I believe that we all have a need to feel connected to our purpose and to each other and, especially after the conversations I’ve had with volunteers in the past year and due to the current pandemic, I believe this need has become even greater. In the (hopefully not too distant!) future, I’d like to meet with as many volunteers as possible and give them a chance to come together, reconnect and celebrate all that they have achieved in recent times, because it’s definitely not little.
“Volunteers are a vital aspect of St Oswald’s Hospice and support us directly in a great variety of roles, including working directly with patients, in our offices, in our retail shops, at home and out in our community. Sometimes I think that a simple ‘Thank You’ would not be enough to express our gratitude to all those who give their time and energy to ensure that we can be here for our patients and their families in years to come… but I will try anyway: a big heartfelt Thank You goes to all of our volunteers.
“I would like to remind everyone that my door and inbox are always open – please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you would like to discuss any aspect of volunteering in person, over the phone or by email, or if you have any ideas on how to improve volunteering at St Oswald’s Hospice”