Volunteers’ Week 2022

Heather Griffiths — Volunteer Coordinator

My first time working with volunteers was during my role as a curator at Harewood House. I built brilliant relationships with volunteers and I got a real pleasure from feeling like part of a family.

When I first started at Martin House, I originally worked in fundraising before my current role became available. There hadn’t been a volunteer coordinator up to that point.

There are 324 volunteers at the moment in a variety of different areas and roles such as catering, retail, admin, garden and maintenance. All our trustees are volunteers as well.

We also have Pets as Therapy volunteers, where owners and their pets come into the hospice to visit the children and young people.

Our volunteers have been really keen to come back to us after covid and they very much lie at the heart of this organisation. They give up their free time and bring an incredible wealth of life experience.

There’s an amazing range in demographics from students helping in the shops to people who are incredibly qualified. Sometimes volunteers come here to do something completely unrelated to their previous employment. For example, one of our maintenance volunteers used to be a civil engineer and I’ve also had volunteers who have been barristers!

People volunteer for so many different reasons such as social interaction or to grow and share their skills. If you’ve got a young person who has very little social experience and they end up volunteering with somebody who has a lot of life experience, those two worlds cross over in a way that can be really helpful.

We have people who apply to volunteer for personal reasons or who are perhaps taking a break from work, it’s a two-way relationship — we support them and they support us.

The students who volunteer in our shops have also said how much it had helped them through their studying. We’ve also just started a Kickstart programme so it’s fantastic to be able to make a difference to young people.

If you are interested in volunteering for us, please email hgriffiths@martinhouse.org.uk.

For any press or media enquiries, please email media@martinhouse.org.uk.

Heather our Volunteer Coordinator.

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