How Preston youngsters volunteer and help St Catherine’s Hospice

Posted on - 21st September, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Lostock Hall, Preston News
Katie Ogden

Preston students have developed valuable skills by volunteering for local hospice St Catherine’s.


Three dedicated young people regularly give up their time to help the hospice, the Mill Cafe and St Catherine’s charity shops along with 800 volunteers.

Matthew Stretch, 17, Ella Makepeace, 17 and Katie Ogden, 22, have expressed how volunteering can improve future career prospects, and help you stand out from the crowd, , alongside the charity’s #GiveTime campaign.

Read more: Preston couple fundraising to help son battle rare form of cancer

Matthew Stretch has volunteered at the St Catherine’s charity shop in Leyland for two years.

He often lends a hand serving customers, sorts furniture stock and helps load the furniture delivery van.

Matthew Stretch

Matthew, from Leyland, said: “I wanted to come out of my shy shell, extend my CV, and become more employable. I also really enjoy meeting new people and developing my personable skills and work experience.”

He volunteers every Friday from 10am -1pm, and occasional extra days when required. He continued: “I find it easy fitting volunteering around college and everything else.

“Some of my friends have asked why I use my ‘time off’ to volunteer; I tell them I really enjoy it and I’d recommend it to anyone. You find things out about yourself and what you’re capable of; I’d say to anyone considering volunteering to just go for it!”

Ella Makepeace, from Lower Penwortham, volunteers as a café assistant at The Mill, the hospice’s onsite social enterprise.

She said: “After I’d settled in to college for a few months, I started to think about volunteering in my spare time. I hope to join the police force, and volunteering within the community is a good skill to have – I’m meeting lots of different people and it’s something good to put on my CV.”

Ella Makepeace

Ella visited the busy café with her mum for a coffee, when she realised she would like to get involved. She continued: “It just seemed such a friendly and welcoming place. I looked on the website and filled out an application form, and they invited me in for a trial shift. I was a bit nervous but also excited, and it went really well.

“I serve food and drinks, and help with washing up. I enjoy feeling included and part of a team; volunteering is also helping to improve my confidence and people skills.”

Read more: Preston foodbank makes urgent appeal for new supplies

Katie Ogden began volunteering on the inpatient unit at St Catherine’s Hospice to help her career, but believes the personal satisfaction and enjoyment she gets from the role is a bonus she wasn’t expecting.

Katie has just completed a biomedical sciences degree at the UCLan, and is going on to study for a Masters at medical school.

Katie, from Euxton, said: “I’ve done work experience in GP surgeries, but the hospice is a completely different environment – it’s really broadening my horizons and helping me to appreciate what it’s like to work in palliative care.

“I think people are always going to be nervous about volunteering at first, but it’s definitely worth putting yourself out there and trying something new. It’s not as daunting as you might think.”

Katie Ogden 

The Lostock Hall hospice is now looking for fresh volunteers to sign up.

Volunteer Coordinator at St Catherine’s Hospice and The Mill, Hollie Dring, said: “We really can’t thank our volunteers enough for their dedication and support of St Catherine’s – we simply wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.

“It’s great to hear that our volunteers find their roles so enjoyable and rewarding – real friendships are formed and we hold celebration and social events for our volunteers, so it really is a great way to meet new people and try something different from your normal routine.

“Volunteering also offers an opportunity to expand your CV and university application, develop your social skills and work experience, and help improve your chances of landing your dream job by demonstrating your reliability, dependability and commitment to a much-loved local charity.

“We’re looking for more school-leavers, college and university students to join our team of amazing volunteers at St Catherine’s Hospice, The Mill café, and our charity shops. It’s lots of fun and is very flexible, so you can choose a role and shift which suits your personality, interests and ambitions, and fits around your other commitments and leisure time.”

If you’re over 16 and are interested in volunteering then get in touch with St Catherine’s on 01772 629171.

Do you know St Catherine’s Hospice? Have you been involved with any charities recently? Let us know in the comments below

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