Volunteers at three Cumbrian hospices have been given bouquets to thank them for supporting the charities’ vital work.
The bouquets were presented to volunteers at Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland and Eden Valley Hospice, all courtesy of The Cumberland building society.
The floral thank you follows a donation of £14,787 to each hospice from The Cumberland on behalf of its Affinity Account savers.
Between them the three charities provide vital care for people across Cumbria who are living with life-limiting illnesses, as well as palliative care and support for patients’ families.
While Hospice at Home West Cumbria and Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland provide care in patients’ own homes, Eden Valley Hospice offers both in-patient and out-patient services from its site in Carlisle.
Hospice at Home West Cumbria currently has 186 volunteers across the organisation, involved in activities including family and bereavement support, complementary therapy and activities such as fundraising, working in its shops and driving patients to appointments.
One of the volunteers to receive a bouquet was Dr Brian Herd, a local GP, and one of the founding members of the charity which was established in 1986.
He is the organisation’s longest serving volunteer.
Brian said: “I have been involved with Hospice at Home West Cumbria for 36 years and am proud to have supported the organisation through its inception and growth. We should never underestimate the importance of volunteering both for the organisation and for the individual.
“I have met many dedicated people throughout my years of volunteering and would encourage anyone to get in touch and enquire about volunteering with Hospice at Home West Cumbria. I am proud to represent our many volunteers and thank The Cumberland for their continued support.”
Julie Monk, chief executive for Hospice at Home West Cumbria, said: “The Cumberland have supported us for a number of years now and we are delighted to be able to continue our relationship with a local organisation who value the importance of hospice care across Cumbria. This donation will help us to ensure we continue to deliver our services for patients, families and carers.
“Volunteering is hugely important to us. Without our volunteers, we would not have been able to grow and develop as we have over the years and we would not be able to do as much as we do now.”
Nicola Irving, who volunteers for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, also picked up a bouquet.
The hospice cared for Nicola’s husband Paul in his final days and she now helps out by organising events and helping on reception.
“Hospice at home provides an essential service in our community,” said Nicola.
“Their support meant Paul, my husband, could stay at home for as long as possible before he died. They helped Paul, me and our children when no one else could.
“I volunteer to try to repay that help and support and so other people in an impossible position can benefit too.”
Julie Clayton, chief executive officer for Eden Valley Hospice, said: “We’d like to thank The Cumberland – and their Affinity Account savers – for their incredibly generous ongoing support of the hospice. It’s no secret that we’re living through very challenging times so this donation and the other various ways in which they support us is very much appreciated.
“We must also say thank you to The Cumberland for the very kind gesture they have made to our volunteers who are a very special part of our charity. The work they do across all parts of the organisation, from supporting our clinical teams to raising funds in our shops and keeping our gardens looking beautiful, is highly valued by everyone at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw – we simply couldn’t do what we do without them.”
Each year The Cumberland donates an amount equivalent to one per cent of the average total balances of all its Affinity Accounts to the hospices.
Phillip Ward, brand manager at The Cumberland, said the donation was a natural extension of its Kinder Banking initiative, which it launched this year.
Its purpose is to create banking experiences that are kinder to people, the planet and local communities.
Phillip said: “Kinder Banking is about making sure that everything we do creates a positive experience, but it’s also about celebrating acts of kindness in our communities.
“The work that all these hospices do goes above and beyond just kindness; it really is life-changing for so many people when they are facing some of the toughest times imaginable.
“It is hard to imagine any organisations which are more deserving of a donation than the hospices and it’s a great pleasure to be able to say a little thank you to the hard working volunteers.”
Further information about the Cumberland Affinity Account here