Tea party in beautiful hospice gardens to thank volunteers

Hospice of St Francis volunteers Anna Hall from Hemel Hempstead and Dot Willson from Berkhamsted.

Hospice of St Francis volunteers Anna Hall from Hemel Hempstead and Dot Willson from Berkhamsted.

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The event was the inspiration of new chief executive officer Steve Jamieson, who gave a short speech thanking the hospice volunteers for the valuable contribution they make to the care the charity provides and for their dedication.

Hospice of St Francis volunteers tea party.

Hospice of St Francis volunteers tea party.

The gathering on Sunday, June 7, at the end of National Volunteers’ Week, was held in the stunning hospice gardens, off Shootersway in Berkhamsted, with their views over to the Ashridge Estate, and was attended by volunteers of all ages working across all areas of the Hospice including its shops, patient care, gardening and fundraising.

Mr Jamieson said: “Our volunteers give so much of their time, skills and expertise and I felt it was only right that we should hold an event to recognise their massive contribution.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer the excellent care we give to our patients their families and carers. They were looked after by the staff and trustees of the Hospice and the day was an enormous success.”

Anna Hall, from Hemel Hempstead, has volunteered at the hospice for 17 years, working in the kitchens, doing the ironing and volunteering in the Abbots Langley shop.

Abbots Langley volunteer at Hospice of St Francis garden party Pat Dunn, from Kings Langley, with her daughter Corinne Stewart.

Abbots Langley volunteer at Hospice of St Francis garden party Pat Dunn, from Kings Langley, with her daughter Corinne Stewart.

She said: “My mother-in-law died at the hospice and she was treated so fantastically that I thought if I could do just a little bit to help the hospice by volunteering I would.

“It’s such a lovely team to be a part of and to mark our efforts with an afternoon like this is very special.”

She was joined by Dot Willson from Berkhamsted, who has been a volunteer in the hospice’s retail team for 13 years, eight of them at number twenty in Lower Kings Road.

She said: “I worked in the Berkhamsted charity shop the day it opened and I love my role serving and chatting to the public.”

Kings Langley resident Pat Dunn has worked for the hospice for 10 years, picking up her long-service award during the afternoon, which she attended with her daughter Corinne Stewart.

She said: “I absolutely love my once-a-week role at the Abbots Langley shop chatting to customers and sorting out the stock. It’s been super to come to the hospice gardens today and see them in the

glorious sunshine.”

Staff and trustees, who had given up their Sunday to make cakes and attend the event, served Pimms, punch, tea and cakes to the volunteers, who give their time and skills to the charity. Thirteen volunteers were recognized for their long service during the afternoon, receiving a pin badge marking their years’ service plus a commemorative certificate.

Gillian van der Merwe, voluntary services manager, said: “I am so pleased we were able to welcome so many of our volunteers to the hospice this afternoon. It was wonderful to hear the sounds of animated conversation in amongst the clinking of tea cups and live music and to be able to give our volunteers something back in recognition of all they do for us.”