'How volunteering at Sheffield hospice changed my life'

Sheffield mum Karen Maris was working in a city warehouse when the pandemic struck and and she found herself furloughed.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 2:22 pm
Karen started volunteering and is now a supervisor with St Luke's

But instead of wondering how to fill her suddenly free time, Karen decided to use the extra hours to become a volunteer with St Luke’s Hospice.

It is a decision that has changed her life and given her an entirely new career with a charity she loves. And that is why she is now encouraging people to sign up to a special online St Luke’s volunteering event.

On Monday March 1, the charity’s Volunteer Team is hosting the online session to share all the exciting volunteer opportunities that are currently available.

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“Although I’d thought about volunteering, I’d never had much time, what with work and family commitments,” said 43-year-old Karen, who lives in Richmond.

“Being furloughed really made me review what I wanted and what my priorities were and it was when I went back work I knew that I wanted to be doing something that I enjoyed doing.”

St Luke’s had helped when Karen’s uncle was ill so she and her family knew the good work the charity does and the fact that the public’s support in vital to that work carrying on.

“I realised this was my time to volunteer so I applied to St Luke’s and started volunteering at the City Road shop,” she said.

“I hadn’t had any retail experience since I was a teenager but I loved it and there was no need to worry.”

Karen volunteered two afternoons every week and was happy to help out at other times.

But what she never expected was that the City Road team would suggested that she should take a look at any job opportunities within the charity. She is now a supervisor for their donation centre.

“I can look back now and say volunteering really has changed my life because volunteering helped me into a job that I would never have thought was available and which I now love.”

“It’s 100 per cent worth applying to be a volunteer because you get so much out of the experience and you are gaining so many skills without even realising it.”

To sing up for the St Luke’s online volunteering event visit stlukeshospice.org.uk before February 26.