Bluebell Wood is sending out a heartfelt thank you to its army of volunteers as organisations across the UK celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2020.

The charity currently has over 500 volunteers on the books who lend a hand with almost every aspect of its life-changing work. Their hard work and dedication saves the charity hundreds of thousands of pounds each year, which can be used to care for some of the most vulnerable children and families in our communities.

And while many of the volunteers have been unable to help in the ways they ordinarily would at Bluebell Wood during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are more than happy to reflect on how much it means to them. 

Retired policeman Tony Wadsworth, 66, from Rotherham, has been volunteering in Bluebell Wood’s kitchen since 2017.

“I have made many friends during my time at Bluebell Wood, it’s full of lovely people,” said Tony. 

“Through volunteering at Bluebell Wood, I have come to appreciate how wonderful the staff are and what a superb service they provide.

“I am more grateful than ever for my own and my family’s good health and I feel proud to be contributing towards such a fantastic cause.”

Gemma McKay, 18, from Harthill, started volunteering with the Bluebell Wood family support team last year, and has enjoyed every minute of it.

The A-Level student, who plans to train as a doctor, is passionate about helping others. So Bluebell Wood seemed like the perfect fit.

“Volunteering is something I’ve always wanted to do to,” said Gemma.

“Before I visited for the first time, I thought it would be a sad place – but that couldn’t be further from the reality.

“The atmosphere is so positive and uplifting and I think that’s exactly what people need. It’s such a nice, close-knit environment full of such lovely, caring people.”

As well as giving her the opportunity to help those who need it the most, volunteering has helped Gemma in many other ways.

“My motivation was to help people but I’ve also gained a lot more confidence and experience, and the break from study is also great for my mental health.”

Both Gemma and Tony would urge people considering volunteering to give it a try.

“Don’t hesitate and put yourself forward,” said Tony.

“It is a wonderful cause to get involved with and is full of lovely, caring staff who always make you feel welcome.”

In addition to helping out at the hospice, the charity’s volunteers lend a hand in its network of shops, at events, community fundraising and much more. They are also joined by volunteers from local firms and organisations, who often have ‘away days’ at the hospice to chip in with all manner of tasks.

Madeleine Oldale, Head of Communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “Volunteer Week is a wonderful opportunity to thank all our incredible volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for all they do for Bluebell Wood. Without them, our life-changing work simply wouldn’t be possible.

“Our volunteers are at the heart of the Bluebell Wood community, and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming them back when the time is right."

“We’d also love to see some new faces join our wonderful team, so please do get in touch if you’d like to get involved in the future.”

You can pledge your time to Bluebell Wood, when it’s safe to do so and the time is right for you, by joining our LetsPledge campaign.

 You can find out more here