Sherie Jacques from Ramsgate volunteers as a Catering Assistant at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet. After her mum was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, Sherie gave up full-time work to become her carer. As her mum stabilised, Sherie found she had some spare time and decided to volunteer for her local hospice charity.
Volunteering offers Sherie a flexible way to keep busy and give back to the community whilst still being able to care for her mum. She said: “One day, my friend sent me a link to a skydive fundraiser on the Pilgrims Facebook page. I’ve been interested in doing one for a while, though I haven’t quite got there… yet!
“From there I went on to Pilgrims’ website and found the volunteer section. I originally applied for a reception role, welcoming people into the hospice, but then discovered that volunteers were needed in the kitchen. I had catering experience and knew the role would be challenging and keep me busy.”
I never get bored. Everyone is so nice and welcoming, and I feel I’m really doing something to help not only the hospice staff but the patients, too. I get to have a laugh with everyone and there is always a thank you at the end of each shift.
Sherie volunteers twice a week and loves her varied shifts. She added: “I never get bored. Everyone is so nice and welcoming, and I feel I’m really doing something to help not only the hospice staff but the patients, too. I get to have a laugh with everyone and there is always a thank you at the end of each shift. Sometimes a new recipe or twist on an old favourite even gets tried at home.”
Asked what she’s learnt about hospice care and if she’d recommend volunteering to others, Sherie said: “There is so much going on at the Pilgrims; activity days, counselling, fundraising events to name just a few. It goes without saying that they are there for the patients primarily but offer so many services to carers and families as well. Oh, and the food is pretty amazing too!
“If you’re looking to volunteer there are so many things that you can help with, from driving, reception shifts, gardening, flower arranging, catering or even in the shops. The kitchen is my favourite, of course! It’s a perfect way to meet new friends and try something new.”
Inspired to become a Pilgrims’ volunteer?
Visit pilgrimshospices.org/volunteer and look out for more stories and information throughout Volunteers’ Week!
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Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
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