Appeal by Corby hospice for volunteers for minibus service and in the kitchen

The hospice took delivery of a new minibus last year
The hospice took delivery of a new minibus last year

Volunteers are needed as drivers and hosts for the minibus service which gets patients to and from Lakelands Hospice in Corby.

The hospice in Butland Road is a day care centre for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

But without any Government funding, it relies on volunteers and donations to help them continue proving a vital lifeline to people in the community.

Laura Gravener, volunteer coordinator at Lakelands Hospice, said: “We are a cancer-based hospice so we have three days a week dedicated to people with cancer from diagnosis, but we also offer a heart programme.

“It is a 16-week programme on a Friday which is to support individuals with a life-limiting illness with the heart.

“It is becoming more popular and we now feel the need to open on a Monday which will be two days a week.”

Following the continuing success of its heart programme, the hospice is looking for more people to volunteer as minibus drivers and hosts, who help get patients in and out of the vehicle, speak to them as they travel and ensure they have everything they need for the journey.

Drivers must have a D1 on their driving licence and some experience of driving a larger vehicle, although training will be given.

Help is needed on a Monday from 8.30am to 10.30am and 3.30pm to 5.30pm, and also on a Tuesday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Laura said: “Ideally we are looking for hosts who are confident, love to talk, get involved with patients, good natured and who are amiable, and it’s the same with the drivers.

“They all get to know the patients and it’s a really nice role because you also get to meet the family members.

“Because the patients want to come to us, it is a guilt-free day for family members, it gives them some time out too.”

The hospice would also like to hear from anyone who could volunteer in the kitchen on a Monday from 11am to 2pm.

Laura said: “We have a paid member of staff, our chef, but she is always in need of help, which could be helping prepare meals, washing up, setting the table or serving the food.”

She said volunteers are invaluable to the hospice’s work and they couldn’t run the hospice, charity shop and second-hand furniture shop without volunteers, and added: “They are absolutely vital.”

Training will be provided for anyone over-18 who would like to fill one of these volunteering roles.

To volunteer or find out more, call Laura on 01536 747755 or email lauragravener@lakelandshospice.org.uk.

For more information about the hospice go to www.lakelandshospice.org.uk.