Chestnut Tree children’s hospice is continuing its Volunteer for the New Year campaign.
Diane Webb has volunteered at the charity shop in Eastbourne for more than a year.
Following a busy career which included working in social services, with both children and the elderly, Diane decided to give up long and stressful days and retire to focus on different aspects of her life. She decided to volunteer after hearing about the care that Chestnut Tree provides in the area, and to give something back to the community.
She said, “One of the things that I like most about volunteering with Chestnut Tree is that they make it so easy
“I have applied to volunteer for other charities in the past and it has taken over a year to actually start a volunteering role, and some just haven’t got back to me.
“Chestnut Tree got back to me straight away and offered a taster day in the shop to see if I would like it, which I did.
“ I started out doing just a couple of hours a week, but now like it so much I help out four days a week.
“I really enjoy meeting new people, both staff and customers, and having something different to do.
“It’s great just being able to come in and do what you need to do, without the responsibility, knowing you don’t have to worry about it at the end of the day.
“You get to do lots of different things, working on the shop floor, sorting stock, serving customers, and are actively encouraged to try different things if you want to. You’re not pushed into anything and every day is different, I like the variety.”
Chestnut Tree have three shops in East Sussex, located in Eastbourne, Seaford and Uckfield, and are looking for volunteers to help out at each.
Denise Wills, manager at the Eastbourne shop, said, “It really means the world to us that people like Diane give up their valuable time to help us, and, in turn the families that need our care in East Sussex.
“We would be extremely grateful to anybody who can spare just a few hours a week to help out. If you’re not sure just come and have a taster day, if you don’t like it, there’s no pressure whatsoever to commit.”
The reach out for volunteers is part of the ongoing Hands Up! campaign by Chestnut Tree, to raise awareness of the charity throughout East Sussex with the aim of doubling the number of children they can provide care for in the area.
Hands Up! is Chestnut Tree’s campaign which aims to double the number of children it cares for in East Sussex. As part of the campaign the charity is asking people in East Sussex to put their Hands Up if they can help raise awareness and funds.
Chestnut Tree knows that there are more children and families in East Sussex who could be benefitting from their care. There is often an assumption that the charity is a West Sussex one because of the location of the hospice itself, but in reality Chestnut Tree offers care to children with life-shortening conditions and their families in Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Uckfield, Rye and beyond.
The campaign is not asking people to put their hands in their pockets, but to put their hands in the air and say, ‘Yes I’ll help.’ Chestnut Tree will then work with them to find the best way for them to help, whether that is by getting their company involved, holding a fundraising event, volunteering, spreading the word or taking part in one of our sponsored challenges.
Chestnut Tree House provides specialist palliative care services to 300 children and young people aged 0 - 19 with life-shortening conditions in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.
The services we offer include assessment, advice and information for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, specialist short breaks, emergency care, step down from hospital and end of life care.
The Community Team cares for families in their own homes. Chestnut Tree House also offers bereavement support which includes therapy, counseling and spiritual care. There is also a specialist neonatal care service, services for under fives and transition advice for young people moving to adult services.
Finally, Chestnut Tree House offers care for families after the unexpected death of a child or young person, including the use of its Stars bereavement suite.
To find out more about volunteering call 01323 725095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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