Making a difference in Merseyside

The red carpet was rolled out for four remarkable St. Joseph’s Hospice volunteers at the 800 Group’s first ever Community Volunteer Awards at Bradbury Fields in Liverpool last month.

Volunteers Chris Taylor, Val Raybold, Janet Tobin and Mary Diamond all received awards for the difference they have made to the patients and families at the Thornton-based hospice.

Make a Difference Day, which takes place across the world this Saturday (22nd October), is an annual celebration of the amazing contribution volunteers, like Chris, Val, Janet and Mary, make to the world. By giving up their own time, they make a difference in their communities by helping others and taking part in volunteering projects.

The 800 Group consists of eight Merseyside charities, with over 800 years of charitable service between them, and to celebrate Make a Difference Day, here are four amazing Merseyside volunteers who go the extra mile for others and are an inspiration to others.

Chris has volunteered for St. Joseph’s Hospice for over 15 years. She collects and wraps over 300 teddies for the teddy tombola every year, which has raised thousands of pounds. She also makes mouth-watering chocolate hampers and various prizes and gifts for us to raffle, all perfectly wrapped and hand finished neatly with a bow! Chris also manages to find time to clean up our old collection boxes to make them look like new.

Val has volunteered at our Jospice shop in Netherton for five years. When she started she was very shy and timid and would rather work in the back of the shop. Now, Val opens up the shop on the manger’s day off, she does the banking and can be relied on to help at short notice.

Janet has been a volunteer at our Jospice shop Allerton Road for five years. She volunteers two days a week at the shop as well as volunteering at Liverpool Crown Court. She is also a carer for her brother in law. Janet is a very reliable volunteer and can be called on at the last minute to help out. She also manages the shop in the manager’s absence and is well liked by the whole team.

Mary has been volunteering on reception at the hospice for five years. She answers the phone, greets visitors and families. She has a lovely pleasant nature and really enjoys her time on reception.

Siobhan Clinton, volunteer co-ordinator at St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “Our four award winners are truly remarkable and really sum up what Make a Difference Day is all about. The different roles they have show the wide variety of skills we can make real use of in and around the hospice so please get in touch if you would like to join our volunteering team as we are always in need of more support.”

Dil Daly, 800 Group Chairman, said: “Volunteers are an important part of the fabric of society and in these days of austerity their role is becoming increasingly important, we wanted to reflect this by paying tribute to some of our outstanding volunteers. Our volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.”