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Volunteering in retirement - Chris' story

69-year-old Chris from Todwick has been a fundraising volunteer for St Luke’s for more than six years. By giving his time to support our events and the Biz Kids programme in Sheffield schools he has made a big difference to people affected by terminal illness across the city. Chris explains:

“I first got involved with St Luke’s through my job as a quantity surveyor for Turner & Townsend. I was part of the project management team overseeing the rebuild of the in-patient centre back in 2012.

“I didn’t have a personal connection with the hospice but felt inspired to get involved after getting to know the staff and seeing for myself what St Luke’s does for patients and families. Through my employer’s corporate social responsibility programme, I could volunteer a working day each year to charity.  So, I signed up to become a Biz Kids’ business mentor.”

Biz Kids offers schools across Sheffield the opportunity to work closely with St Luke’s, encouraging children to use their creative, problem-solving and enterprise skills to raise vital funds for our patient care.  Chris carried on in his mentoring role for the next five years:

“My employer lent the seed money for a school each year and I worked with teachers and pupils to help them develop their fundraising ideas and pull together presentations. When I retired in 2017, I didn’t want to stop supporting St Luke’s or Biz Kids, so I became a volunteer school ambassador. I give school assemblies, help to judge the pupils’ final presentations and go along to the children’s fundraising events. I also help out at St Luke’s events whenever I can. I’ve marshalled for the Sheffield 10k run and Night Strider and helped with bucket collections at Crystal Peaks and Sheffield Wednesday matches.

“If anyone is thinking about volunteering with the fundraising team at St Luke’s I’d say, just do it! It’s so rewarding to do something that makes people happier at a difficult time in their lives. Everyone is lovely and you get lots of support as a volunteer.

“On a personal note, though I like the freedom of retirement I miss the routine of work, so volunteering regularly for St Luke’s gives me a positive way to spend my time. I’d be bored silly if I didn’t have this to do! 

“It is really important to me that what’s on offer at St Luke’s is open to everyone. This amazing level of care isn’t funded by the NHS, so there’s a gap to fill. I know someone has to help to raise the money and I have time to give, so why not me?” 

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