I have been the Voluntary Services Manager at the Dougie Mac for just over 3 years. We offer a variety of volunteering opportunties including:
- Patient facing
- Fundraising support
Currently we have 900 active volunteers supporting the Hospice on a regular basis. Support is also given by companies and placement s from educational institutes and job seekers.
Between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012 our volunteers donated -
Over 140,000 hours
£970,000 in time
This blog and our new Facebook page will provide information on the fantastic contribution of our volunteers and how you can you get involved with the community.
Louise McCartney, DMH Voluntary Services Manager.
It’s been a while but the Volunteering blog is back!
Last Sunday we had our Annual Income Generation Volunteer Celebration Lunch at the Best Western Stoke Moathouse, where over 250 volunteers attended.
Highlights included a three course meal and a performance from Elvis impersonator Jason Dale.
Here’s some snaps taken on the day:
If you would like to join 900 Dougie Mac volunteers please contact Voluntary Services on 01782 344332 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Here are some pictures featuring some of our wonderful volunteers from Bring a Pound Day -
If you would like to volunteer for the Dougie Mac, please e-mail email@example.com.
In 2010 we were greatly honoured to have our volunteers visit Buckingham Palace, to receive the Queen’s Award.
As it’s the Jubilee Bank Holiday we thought we’d share some memories from the ladies who attended.
Jean Perry who celebrated her 80th birthday in August has been volunteering for the hospice for nearly 30 years – she has done many amazing things including sitting in a vat of coffee and dressing (or should that be undressing) as Lady Godiva. She is also a very proud mum and she has 11 great-grandchildren who are very much at the heart of her world.
Jean has travelled abroad and her volunteering has taken her across Staffordshire but, until the trip to the Palace , she had never been toLondon.
“I just never wanted to go there,” she says, admitting that she was very apprehensive about making the journey in July.
But with the other ladies looking out for her and with some help from a very helpful cabbie pointing out all the landmarks, Jean found it mostly impressive.
“ I had mixed feelings, cities aren’t really for me. ButBuckinghamPalacewas amazing, we just walked through the front to the back and the gardens. I would really like to go back again and see more of it.”
Jean was thrilled to be given the chance to attend the garden party and wore her best dress and jewellery on the day, while her niece did her make up.
The highlight for Jean was being within touching distance of the Queen. She was in a group waiting for her to go past as she left the garden party.
“There was this woman in front of me – she was about five foot eight – I am only five foot three, she turned round and asked if I’d like to go in front. I did. I could have touched the Queen. I finished up with tears in my eyes. It was wonderful”.
She says another unexpected highlight was the friendships forged with the other three ladies on their day out together.
Jean works in the Leek shop and became involved with the hospice in 1983 shortly after her mother died. She is also very active in her community in Ball Green, taking part in the carnival and acting as a bingo caller. She collects for the DMH lottery too.
She loves the company and the sense of purpose and the fact that she has helped to make a difference.
Joan Leigh from Clayton reckons there’s something unique about a Royal garden party.
“ We do things like that so well,” she says. “It was a fantastic day for us all, a bit overwhelming. We were there with eight thousand other people, but we felt able to walk among them and get close to the royal family.
“ It was marvellous to see inside the palace – that magnificent staircase – it was quite an experience.”
Joan and the others also managed to get close to their royal tea – cucumber sandwiches (no crusts); smoked salmon and dainty little cakes. They also spent time chatting to the Princess Royal’s bodyguard .
Joan began volunteering 17 years ago, along with her husband John. She has worked in the hospice shop, doing the flowers on the wards, she has been out with collecting boxes and helped out in the bereavement section.
“`It’s a way of giving something back. The hospice provides a wonderful service for this area. I am just so very grateful that there are such places.
“ I was very honoured to attend the garden party. I was also quite nervous.
“ We were all delighted to be there.”
The royal line up headed by the Queen included Prince Philip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
“I found the royal family seemed interested in the people they spoke to. They didn’t rush off. At one time I was within two feet of the Princess Royal with no-one between me and her.” Says Joan.
“ And we ladies enjoyed each other’s company too. We all felt so delighted and honoured to be there.”
When gardening volunteer Jean Oakes got to see round the back ofBuckinghamPalaceher expert eye couldn’t help but notice the state of the lawns.
“They were so green. We strolled to the lake and it was all immaculate.”
Jean has been working with the gardening team for almost a decade and loves the reaction from visitors when they stroll in the grounds.
“The gardens are fabulous and people say how nice it is to have something like that.”
Jean began volunteering when she retired from her career as an education office. Her love of gardening drew her to the role she now has and she enjoys being in a team.
Being close to the Yeoman of the Guard at the palace garden party is her favourite memory, although she says the whole day was lovely.
“ I used to be involved in a lot of royal visits when I was at work and they were formal . This was lovely and relaxed. It was a people watching thing. Everyone seemed happy and content.”
The journey down to the capital went without a hitch and the ladies found they had time on their hands before being allowed into the palace.
All the ladies had heeded the advice of seasoned garden party goers – they put on their poshest frocks, but they all opted for the comfiest shoes.
Liz Quick who works on reception never though she’d seen the inside of Buckingham Palace – so to tread on the luxurious red carpet on her way to see the Queen was what dreams are made of.
“ I was speechless when I found out I was going. My family were thrilled to bits. I never ever thought I would be so privileged.”
Liz has a number of volunteer roles at the hospice including being the public face of the organisation, collecting cheques and meeting people.
“ I feel very honoured to represent the hospice, it is such a special place and I get so much out of it. I like being helpful to the relatives. A lot of them have never been before and they are apprehensive because of the myth that people come here and don’t go home again.
“ They do.
“ It’s a lovely, happy place.”
Liz also finds time to volunteer with the Midlands Air Ambulance and in the girl guide movement.
Before she had her children Liz worked as a telephonist and volunteered to take on the busy role with its twelve outside lines because she felt able to cope
“It’s the job I trained to do. I see it as giving something back to the community. It’s good to belong to an organisation close to people’s hearts.. We, as an area, are very deprived, but these wonderful people keep raising money.”
The highlights of her visit to the palace were seeing the look on Jean Perry’s face when she got close to the queen and being close to Princess Anne.
If you would like to volunteer at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. Please call 01782 344332 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I work for Cooperative Financial Services, and each year we are allowed to spend a day volunteering for a charitable organisation. This year I decided I wanted to do something that was personal and meant more to me. I have had relatives that have spent time in the Douglas MacMillan Hospice in the past, and I thought it would be a nice idea to try and help out for a day, to try and give something back to the hospice.
I wanted to help out with gardening duties and in the kitchen. I work in I.T. and fancied doing something different for the day.
I arrived at the hospice at 8.50 on a windy and wet morning, and was met by Louise McCartney. Louise introduced me to the maintenance team, while we waited to see if any of the gardening volunteers would turn up due to the inclement weather. The maintenance team looked after me and made me a cup of coffee to get my day off to a good start. Sadly, the weather was too bad to do any gardening, but it didn’t matter as I could spend the day in the kitchen with the catering team.
I was provided with a tunic to wear in the kitchen, it was like the one you see Gordon Ramsey wearing and was then introduced to Steve, the catering manager. Steve introduced me to the catering team and the volunteers who were also helping out that day in the kitchen.
My first job was to peel and chip a large amount of potatoes, this all went well. I then started on preparing some swedes, slipped with the knife, and managed to sever part of my thumb. Tracy jumped to the rescue with the plasters, they were the blue ones you sometimes see on television on cooking programmes like Masterchef, where people have injured themselves. This sorted out the injury and I then wore a glove for the rest of the day as an added hygiene precaution.
I had a variety of jobs to do during the day including veg. preparation, different types of cleaning, and checking to ensure the stock in the fridges were all in date. Steph was great at finding me things to do and she looked after me, in fact the whole team made me feel welcome. It can be a bit daunting when going to somewhere where you do not know anyone, even as a volunteer, but I really felt at ease throughout the day.
I had breakfast and lunch with some of the team members and got to know them a bit better. Kay had been on a cruise and she had some great pictures of her visit to Italy and Gibraltar.
I was really impressed with the kitchen in general. Lots of fresh food being prepared and they were very meticulous about hygiene. It seemed a nice, friendly place to work.
The restaurant was also a very nice space to sit and enjoy your meal. Not a large area, but it was very pleasant.
I would definitely recommend volunteering at Dougie Mac. The catering team found me plenty of jobs to do, which was good, as it made me feel like I had helped them out and not been too much of a hindrance.
In the future I hope to help out in my own time, as well as doing this charitable day, which my company allowed me to do.
Thanks again to everyone at Douglas MacMillan Hospice for an enjoyable day.
If you would like to volunteer at the Dougie Mac, please call Voluntary Services on 01782344332 or e-mail email@example.com.
A volunteer in the Dougie Mac’s Cheadle shop, has signed up for their first ever Fancy Drag Race alongside his two sons.
Rob Gallon, from Draycott-in-the-Moors, lost his uncle Albert earlier in the year; with the 79 year old receiving care from the Hospice at Home team and is taking part to honour his memory.
He will take part in the May 27th event, with his two sons Brian (aged 23) and Daniel (aged 21)
The Fancy Drag Race is targetting men to dress up as women; and run or walk around Newcastle under Lyme town centre.
It’s based on a similiar event held by a Chesterfield Hospice for the past two years.
The trio are buying their outfits from the shop itself for the event.
“Everyone knows the Dougie Mac does a good job, but you really realise how great they are when you experience their work first-hand,” Rob said.
“We do other fundraising as a family, but I liked the sound of this event because it is something different.”
To sign up for the Fancy Drag Race click HERE.
If you would like to volunteer for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, please call 01782344332 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Cartlidge 36 became a volunteer at DMH three years ago. He is now established as a valuable member of the garden team.
Although he is an expert in the handling of watering cans and leaf rakes, he prefers digging.
Donning a yellow vest and hard hat, he and fellow gardener Derrick, spent a morning in what will be the new courtyard garden. They dug through hardcore to make a hole large enough to take the reservoir for a water feature, hard work but rewarding: if, like Paul you enjoy wielding a spade.
The DMH have many opportunities in the facilities department: catering assistance, housekeepers and maintenance team. Contact Voluntary Services if you or a friend or family member would like to volunteer in any area on 01782 344332 or email@example.com