This is for you, our amazing volunteers
Carly Attridge, Head of Volunteering at St Joseph’s Hospice talks about her pride at receiving the Investing in Volunteers Accreditation.
St Joseph’s has a long history in the local community of Hackney and volunteering is engrained in the ethos and culture of the organisation. At the most basic level St Joseph’s simply wouldn’t be able to deliver services without volunteers.
St Joseph’s is a unique place. Founded by the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1905, it has evolved from a place of compassion and peace where terminally people go to die, to a community where the emphasis is on living well and the best quality of life possible. We have dedicated staff who care for the patients fantastically well, with compassion and kindness that is unrivalled. But the volunteers supplement this care in so many ways; from reading to patients on the wards, giving them hand massages when human contact is so important and working with them to create art in Day Hospice, to manning our reception desk, our drinks trolley and helping to maintain our beautiful gardens.
In the past few years our Compassionate Neighbours project has grown and grown and has become a really important part of St Joseph’s life and our neighbours have made a huge impact on spreading the word about our work into their communities and beyond.
Those who know St Joseph’s will be aware of the renowned Jumble Sales that happen regularly at the hospice. We have a small army of volunteers who come in twice a week to sort out the jumble to make these sales possible - raising vital funds so that we can continue to care for our patients.
These are just some of the vital roles that are carried out by more than 600 volunteers.
Of course all this doesn’t just happen by itself, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes by our incredible Volunteer Team who put a lot of time and effort into recruiting volunteers and matching them to suitable roles. We don’t just look at what we can get from them, we want to ensure that they get the best possible experience from their time here. The team are always looking for new ways to keep the volunteers engaged with the hospice with weekly newsletters offering new opportunities and updates and twice yearly parties to celebrate their achievements and thank them for their commitment to the hospice.
In recognition of this hard work the Volunteers’ Team have just received the Investing in Volunteers accreditation, the UK quality standard for all organisations that involve volunteers. This is a major achievement and one that we are really excited about.
Getting this accreditation is a nine step self-assessment process which includes looking at our policies, procedures, how we support and involve volunteers in decision making and how we value volunteering. An independent assessor then interviewed a random selection of more than 50 volunteers, staff, and trustees.
Investing in Volunteers demonstrates our organisational commitment to our fantastic volunteers present, past and future, and to ensuring excellence in volunteer management across the organisation. The feedback we received was extremely positive, with some really helpful development points in a small number of areas, which we will incorporate into our work as a team over the coming months.
A huge thank you to all of our volunteers, our volunteer supervisors and to the volunteer team for their drive, passion and commitment to volunteering at St Joseph’s. We really couldn’t do it without you. You’re all amazing.