35 years of volunteering by thousands of Burnley folk has been key to Pendleside Hospice’s success
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Without the thousands of people who have given up their time since 1988, the hospice would not have been able to provide the services it has done – or even have survived.
And National Volunteers’ Week this week allows the communities of Burnley and Pendle a chance to recognise and showcase the
invaluable contribution the volunteers have made – at the same time as being a rallying call for new volunteers to step forward.
Pendleside’s latest volunteer recruit is probably their eldest!
William Stuttard had just turned 90 when he began working recently in the furniture store in Church Street, Burnley, half a day a week.
Former engineer and car salesman William said: “After my wife Margaret passed away I received bereavement counselling at Pendleside and it was during those sessions that I mentioned I would like to volunteer because I had a lot of time on my hands.”
Pat McKiernan, a former St Theodore’s RC High School teacher and Burnley FC education and welfare officer, volunteered his services following the passing at Pendleside of his wife Ruth, who had been head of modern languages at St Theodore’s and Thomas Whittam High School.
Pat (68) said: “Ruth died in 2015 and it was during her stay at the hospice that I realised what an incredible place it was. The nurses truly are angels the way they look after everyone.
“One touching example was a week before Ruth passed away she was desperate to have a Chinese meal. The staff dressed up a table with flowers and everything and I brought in a Chinese takeaway. It allowed me and Ruth to have our last romantic meal together. It was a wonderful evening.”
Pat began volunteering before Covid and returned after having lived in London for a couple of years.
He said: “I serve meals and refreshments to patients and their families on a Tuesday and deliver meals on wheels on a Thursday.
“I actually get more out of it than I give! It would be great if more people came forward to offer their time.”
Another volunteer Louis Potter (26) offers his services when he is not working on the production of TV drama series as a grip.
His mum Mary is the manager of Pendleside’s Padiham charity shop. Before retiring as an air hostess she used to bring jewellery back from abroad and after selling it at home would give the profits to the hospice.
Louis, who is captain of Ighten Mount Social Club’s pool team, drives around Pendleside’s nine shops delivering goods from the donation centre and picking up their waste.
He said: “I volunteer one day a week and it’s a great place to work. Everyone is so lovely at the hospice.”
Volunteer co-ordinator Lisa Clarke, who manages the duties carried out by more than 300 volunteers, said: “Areas where we need more help are in day-services patient transport, delivering meals on wheels, charity shop assistants, and furniture store van drivers and their mates.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer call contact 01282 440159 or [email protected]