The tea was flowing as volunteers tucked into towers of cake, scones and cookies in a celebration of all that they do at Derian House Children’s Hospice.
To mark Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) the charity chose to give back to its kind-hearted helpers by hosting a tea party fit for a king.
Dedicated volunteers from all walks of life were waited on by Derian House staff as they chatted and enjoyed delicious treats baked by the hospice’s resident chef, Jack.
The afternoon was rounded-off by a game of bingo, as well as a tour of the hospice grounds, on Monday (5 June).
From helping out in the charity shops and being on-hand at fundraising events, to gardening and kitchen duties, volunteers make Derian House a special place.
Last year, Derian’s volunteers generously donated almost 13,000 hours of their time and expertise, which saved the charity more than £120,000 in wages.
Volunteer gardener Lizzi Tyrer, 31, has been giving up her free time to help maintain the hospice gardens.
Not only that, but Lizzi is a talented calligraphy artist and was on hand to hand-write personalised cards at the charity’s annual Lights of Love carol service last year.
She said: “When I decided to go freelance at work, I found that I had more time to give back and I’ve wanted to volunteer for a long time. Derian House seemed perfect. It’s a local charity and my cousin is a nurse there. Not just that, I love gardening and Derian House has an amazing garden – so it just made sense. It’s a great place to give back. If you have the time, there is always something you can help with, no matter your skill set. The afternoon tea was a lovely way for us all to celebrate. It was great to come together and chat with other volunteers. And the cake was lovely too.”
Nick Ainsworth, 43, volunteers at the Derian Chorley charity shop.
Nick, of Chorley, said: “I have volunteered in the shop for over a year now. I really enjoy helping out and knowing that it will contribute to what Derian House does for children and families just keeps me going. At the shop I sort clothes, go through DVDs, and help to replace the stock. It’s just one afternoon a week and I get a lot out of it. You can’t get more supportive people than at Derian House, everyone’s in it for the same reason. I’m just so happy to be part of the team. The afternoon tea was a great way for us all to celebrate the reasons why we do what we do.”
Frances Lees, Volunteer Services Coordinator at Derian House, said: “We had such a lovely afternoon celebrating all of our incredible volunteers who truly are the lifeblood here at Derian House.
“There are so many good things about volunteering – it’s a great way to make new friends, learn something new, and do something for a good cause. It will cost £6million to run services at Derian House this year, and so our volunteers are vital and make an incredible difference to our families – we simply couldn’t do without them!”
Derian House, based in Chorley, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.