Rotherham Hospice volunteers who have given nearly half a million hours of their time to help others have been praised for their tireless efforts.
More than 1000 big-hearted volunteers have given 466, 633 hours - the equivalent of 19, 443 days - since the Broom Road centre opened nearly 20 years ago.
As a big thank you for all of their dedication, hospice bosses arranged tea parties for them during National Volunteers Week, between June 1 and 12.
Tracey Harrison-Marr, voluntary services manager, said: “You cannot put a price on what our volunteers provide. They give the hospice a unique atmosphere, a blend of professionalism and homeliness that gives untold comfort to patients and families.
“They bring conversation, news, smiles - everything a community offers. They bring Rotherham into Rotherham Hospice.”
Tracey started her career at the hospice 22 years ago, when it was still only a day care unit based in the grounds of Rotherham District General Hospital. Three fellow volunteers also started at the same time and are still with the hospice today having clocked up a total of 70 years’ service between them.
A further five have each been volunteers for 20 years.
She added: “We currently have a team of 399, including A Level and medical students gaining work experience and many people who have personally experienced hospice care and want to give back.
“We also have a number of volunteers for whom the hospice is a supportive environment which helps them as they help others.”
Duties range from driving patients to appointments to gardening, craft-work, providing complementary therapies and manning the hospice’s nine charity shops.
Christopher Duff, chief executive, attended all of the tea parties to personally thank the volunteers.
He said: “Our volunteers enhance everything we do. The hospice would be a very different place without them.”
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call Tracey on 01709 308913.