We probably don’t shout about this enough, but we do have many unsung heroes within FGH. There is always fundraising going on in one guise or another from the Head Office at Vicar Lane to the Warehouse at Listerhills through to people who work in the Store and down to Sheffield in the call centre.
Some of the collective fundraising is for national charities such as Children In Need, Comic Relief and Sports Relief to name but a few, but there are also the smaller, more local charities that benefit from our determined and intrepid fundraisers. These are the charities that are often chosen for personal significance and indeed done on the back of much heartbreak and an appreciation of the support they have received. But apart from actually raising money, there are some people who donate not only their cash but their time – one such person is Caroline Cranmer who works within the HR Department
Caroline has volunteered as a Day Care Assistant at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford since 2011.
Marie Curie is a registered charitable organisation in the United Kingdom which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families. It was established in 1948, the same year as the National Health Service.
After the death of her beloved mum in 2006, it was always at the back of Caroline’s mind to give something back after the wonderful care her mum received at the hospice. Needless to say it took a few years before Caroline felt able to approach the Hospice and offer her services as a volunteer.
As the Charity states on it’s website” Without the fantastic support from volunteers in our hospices, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide all the services our patients and families need”
And so 6 years later, every Wednesday evening, Caroline heads off the hospice after work, dons her pinny and gloves and sets too offering a cuppa to patients and relatives and dishing out 3 course meals to those up to eating.
I asked Caroline if she found if difficult initially going back to the place her mum passed away, which must hold such sad memories, but she said “You may be thinking that hospices are sad places to be in. That really couldn’t be further from the truth. It can be a humbling and inspiring experience to volunteer at a hospice, with the opportunity to meet and support people from all walks of life who have many a story to share”.
She went on to say that “People do not just come here to die. They come here to live. By coming here, patients are given their quality of life back. Volunteering here boosts your confidence and you meet people from all walks of life.”
It’s worth mentioning at this juncture that not only does Caroline donate her time to the Hospice, but the Tony Rampton Trust in recognition for the hours she has spent there, have made several donations over the years for “Time Spent”.
The Marie Curie Hospice has always held a special place in the heart of this organisation, in 2005 Grattan launched a massive fundraising campaign with the aim of raising £100,000 to be divided between the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford and the Bradford Macmillan Cancer Relief fund.
To mark the event staff at the company released 100 balloons to represent every £1,000 to be raised. The money raised for the hospice was used to refurbish a couple of rooms that allow relatives to stay over and “these are still referred to as the Grattan Rooms today” states Caroline.
As I watch Caroline get ready to leave for her next stint at the Hospice – I feel quite proud of what FGH achieves through its fundraising and humbled by people like Caroline who readily give their time on a voluntary basis. I am sure there are many more of you “unsung” heroes out there, so please tell us about it.
According to the Marie Curie website it costs around £60,000 per day to run its nine hospices across the UK:
It takes an army of dedicated volunteers to support our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in delivering the very best care to our patients – along with support for their families.
All our hospices are at the heart of the communities they serve and rely heavily on support from individuals, local groups and businesses to fund the vital services they provide.
If you’d like to make a donation to the hospice please follow the link here.
Written by Sally Hutchinson