WORTHING’S St Barnabas House hospice is opening up its doors and inviting anyone looking for a rewarding volunteering experience to come along to an informal volunteer recruitment open day on Friday 18 January.

St Barnabas House depends on over 1,500 dedicated volunteers who help in the hospice, in the charity’s shops and at fundraising events in West Sussex.

Volunteers make a big difference to the lives of patients and their families during difficult times.

In 2017/18, hospice-based volunteers provided 35,839 hours of support, saving the hospice £514,211.

The charity prides itself on being able to offer a wide range of volunteer roles to suit all ages, skills and interests.

Roles include Community Companions who visit patients in their own homes; volunteers who serve meals in the Day Hospice or greet visitors on reception in the In-patient Unit; drivers who collect and drop off patients to the hospice; Family Services Visitors who offer bereavement support; and non-patient facing volunteer roles such as administration, fundraising event support, maintenance and gardening.

Joe Bryant, 72 from Shoreham-by-Sea, has volunteered in the Maintenance Team at St Barnabas House for 11 months where he says he has made friends for life.

Joe said: “I had never done voluntary work before in my life, it had never even crossed my mind.

“I decided to volunteer as I wanted to give something back after losing my wife in the hospice.

“When my wife was ill, I used to sit in the cafeteria where I met volunteers who were so kind to me.

“They said, “If ever you need to come in here for a coffee and a little chat, then let us know”.

“A few months after I lost my wife, I remembered how nice they had been to me so I took them up on their offer.

“Now I’ve made friendships that I would never have made otherwise.”

If you want to make a difference in your local community, drop in to the open day at the hospice on Titnore Lane, Worthing, between 10am and 3pm on Friday 18 January.