A dedicated volunteer is marking more than a year since he began donating his time to St Richard’s Hospice.
Clive Willcox, who lives in Fernhill Heath, became a hospice volunteer in 2016 after his wife, Val, was cared for by staff at St Richard’s.
Mrs Willcox was 64-years-old when she died at the hospice after developing metastatic melanoma.
After his wife died, Mr Willcox began attending STEPS – a support group which offers 12 social sessions for bereaved people.
The 67-year-old volunteer went on to help set up Next Steps, a supplementary social club for bereaved people who have been supported by St Richard’s.
Since Next Steps started in October 2016, the group has gone from strength to strength and now has around 40 members who enjoy a range of activities from ten pin bowling, to day trips and meals out.
Mr Willcox, who is chair of the group, said: “Next Steps is taking off, there is something going on every week. It is a lot of work but in saying that, I do get a wonderful sense of satisfaction.”
Mr Willcox also volunteers with the fundraising team at St Richard’s, coming in to the office once a week to help out and works on reception twice a month.
St Richard’s is celebrating the tireless work of its volunteers – such as Mr Willcox – as part of national Volunteers’ Week, which runs from Thursday 1 June to Wednesday 7 June.
A ‘thank you’ board has gone up in the reception area at the hospice in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, and a cheese and wine evening will be held on Friday 9 June in appreciation of their hard work supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families over the last year.
“In this world there are givers and takers – and I was brought up to be a giver by my parents,” said Mr Willcox.
“Volunteering, for me personally, is not just giving something back because they looked after my wife but this place gives back to me a sense of need – a sense of being required.
“In a weird sort of way, it does more for me than I can do for it.”
Nearly 1,000 active volunteers help support every aspect of St Richard’s life – from working in charity shops to supporting patients in their own homes and bringing their life-skills to support the compassionate care the hospice provides.
During the last financial year, volunteers gave up 143,506 hours of their time to help care for patients and families, saving the hospice £1,022,601.32.
A total of 26,739 of volunteers’ hours were given to patient services, saving the hospice £230,877.81.
For more information about Volunteers’ Week visit volunteersweek.org
Any bereaved person who has previously been supported by St Richard’s who is interested in joining the Next Steps group is asked to contact the hospice’s Family Support Team on 01905 763963.
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire.
The hospice strives to provide the best medical, practical, emotional and social support they can to help people live life to the fullest, as independently as they can, for as long as they can.
St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help it continue its work.
Find out more at www.strichards.org.uk