A hospice is celebrating the achievements of its youngest volunteers during this week’s Student Volunteering Week.
The Hospice of St Francis has many student volunteers who are in full or part time study. They volunteer in a whole range of roles from direct patient care on the Inpatient Unit, where they chat to patients and serve meals, to helping out at fundraising events or working in one of the Hospice’s nine Love to Give shops.
The week is a national initiative to promote the positive difference that students have made to their local communities and encourage all those studying to give a little of their time to support others.
Jasper Sealey, 14, from Kings Langley, is a pupil at The Rudolf Steiner School and is volunteering at the hospice’s new Kings Langley Love to Give shop as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
Jasper said: "Knowing that what I’m doing is helping someone somewhere motivates me and getting a certificate at the end - for my D of E - is also quite rewarding. So far, I’ve only done nine weeks here, but I hope to stay on for a while.
"I generally sort books and cards and take donations to the storage garage. Volunteering here has helped me to understand how shops work and the amount of work that goes on in the background to help raise funds for the hospice.
"I enjoy organising so sorting books is quite a good job for me. Sometimes the shop gets the most amazing donations - we had a silver fruit bowl worth £70, which I was surprised by! I’d recommend volunteering to all my friends. It’s a great way to help people and develop more social skills in the process."
Gillian Van der Merwe, Voluntary Services Coordinator, added: "The Hospice is an unbelievably friendly place and has a surprising number of voluntary roles to offer local students which would align with a degree module, give them valuable work experience to aid a future career or to enable them to spend a few hours giving something back to the local community.
"Currently, I have a particular need for applications from students who would like to work in our shops or in administrative and social media roles, but would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in the Hospice."