High Sheriff Selina Graham heard first-hand how Severn Hospice makes a difference when she met patients, volunteers and staff from across the charity's day services, community, ward and education teams.
Each year, Severn Hospice cares for 3,000 families in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid Wales living with incurable illness.
All the care given by the hospice is provided for free, but it has to raise £2 for every £3 it spends.
As a centre of excellence in palliative care, the hospice supports the local healthcare community by sharing knowledge and experience, as well as providing outstanding care to those who need it.
Speaking after a tour of the charity's Bicton site in Shrewsbury Mrs Graham said: “Severn Hospice has an unimpeachable reputation and is an extremely positive and welcoming place, and I love that the volunteers and staff make everything so much more about life and living.
"It was wonderful meeting everyone; the garden is beautiful, and the café is a fantastic addition to welcome the community.”
Included in the High Sheriff’s tour was an insight into the hospice’s vital community nursing services.
Four out of five hospice patients are cared for at home, and the community services and therapies help people to live more comfortably and independently with their diagnosis.
Shrewsbury resident and patient Mary Reedy said: “I am delighted that the High Sheriff visited and spent her time with us. It’s been marvellous, exactly like the care at the hospice. I am very happy to be here. It’s like being wrapped in a lovely, soft blanket; the staff are so kind and gentle, and it’s wonderful to be treated so well.”
Mrs Graham added: “In my role I want to make volunteering more accessible, and I want seek out and celebrate all that is great about Shropshire and those who contribute to making it so and I want to show people how they too can make a difference to their community.
“Severn Hospice has many volunteers supporting its work, however it always needs more. I think there is a volunteer in everybody and there is a volunteer role for absolutely everybody – it’s finding the right place to do it. Severn Hospice is a great charity to start because volunteering is so well established and there are many opportunities because of the wealth and breadth of work done.”
Severn Hospice’s chair, Jeanette Whitford, said: “With High Sheriff Graham’s extensive volunteering and community experience, we were delighted to show her our work first-hand and meet our patients, families, volunteers, and staff.
“The hospice cares for 3,000 families every year and is supported by almost 1,000 volunteers. As a charity we could not do what we do without the crucial involvement of and help we receive from the community.
“From the High Sheriff to every volunteer, those who give their time and commitment mean we can make such a difference.”
Severn Hospice’s medical director, Professor Derek Willis, said: “We are leading the way with improvements in palliative care across the region and could not do this without the help of the community.
“It was a pleasure to meet High Sheriff Graham and let her know about our recent achievements supporting local families and the wider Shropshire healthcare community such as GPs, care homes and other healthcare providers.”
People can find out more about volunteering for the charity at severnhospice.org.uk/join-us/volunteer