News & stories Ordinary people doing extraordinary things Ordinary people doing extraordinary things Volunteering is fun and rewarding and it means you can build up valuable work experience, to help you into new employment in the future. Other volunteers gain great satisfaction from putting their existing experience or professional skills to good use by donating their talents to our hospice. Some volunteers get involved because they want to give back to their community or to simply make friends and keep busy. Whatever your reasons, join us and we can support you as much as we can. We are marking national Volunteers’ Week by paying tribute to our 452 volunteers who take on vital roles for our charity.Whether it’s working in our shops, helping at fundraising events, greeting visitors with a smile at reception, maintaining our gardens, or providing expert advice, our volunteers are an integral part of the success of Haven House. The coronavirus outbreak has had a big effect on volunteers with many having to pause their volunteering efforts to comply with government advice, however, many have continued in the community helping neighbours, residents, essential services and families – including many of our hospice children and families. We would like to say a big thank you to them all. Meet Michelle, one of our dedicated volunteers. I love volunteering and hosting events. It’s such a positive way to bring the community together. Michelle moved to South Woodford in 2003 and at the time didn't know many people in the area. She then read about Haven House in a local magazine so contacted the hospice to find out about volunteering. Since then she has organised various fundraising events over the years including bingo and quiz nights. Her biggest event of the year, and a highlight of our hospice and community calendar, is Michelle’s annual tea party. This year would have been the 15th time Michelle would have hosted the event at her home. Michelle has baked a staggering 250 cakes for Haven House during this time and raised over £35,000. The event is one that the local community love! Since lockdown began, Michelle has been helping the Redbridge COVID Mutual Aid group by delivering food parcels and supporting an elderly lady with hospital appointments and phone calls. We both enjoy Haven House for many reasons but most importantly is the friendliness of all the staff, which makes us continue to volunteer. Jigisha and Sunil After searching for volunteering opportunities on Google, Jigisha and Sunil say that Haven House fulfilled everything they were looking for. They were particularly keen to volunteer for a local children’s charity – and Haven House is just that. Supporting the hospice’s mission and making a difference to the lives of seriously ill children is very important to them. They particularly enjoy supporting and interacting with the public at various hospice events, functions and bucket collections. Andrea Thorogood, Volunteer Development Manager, at Haven House, said: “We are so fortunate to have around 450 volunteers supporting Haven House. Each one plays a vital part and we’re so grateful for their loyal support, compassion and kindness.Even through these testing times when many volunteers haven’t been able to carry out their normal roles, they have stepped up and still shown us great support. Whether this be by participating in our virtual fundraising activities, sending our team well wishes or carrying out essential duties such as collecting food and items for families who are currently using the hospice. We are so grateful to them all.We’re keen to ensure the 'thank you' we give this year is as loud and as heartfelt as any other, not least because, during the pandemic, the value of volunteers has really come to the fore."While the hospice is not actively recruiting to volunteer roles at the moment, you can still register your interest to become a Haven House volunteer in 2021.