Desperate appeal for more volunteers at children’s hospice

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 December 2018

Barbara in the kitchen at Charlton Farm.

Barbara in the kitchen at Charlton Farm.

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A children’s charity in Wraxall is appealing for more volunteers to help out.

Barbara in the kitchen at Charlton Farm.Barbara in the kitchen at Charlton Farm.

Children’s Hospice South West is desperate for people to lend a hand in the charity’s kitchen at Charlton Farm.

Barbara Cunningham, aged 66, from Long Ashton, has been volunteering for more than two years.

Barbara had been looking after her granchildren during the week, but when they started school she wanted to help a charity which fitted in with her nursing background.

She said: “It was important for me to choose a charity which I was interested in and that I would commit to.

“I have a nursing background, but I didn’t know what to expect from the hospice. But it’s just an extension of a family home and there’s a lovely atmosphere.

“People think it must be clinical, but it isn’t. It’s a homely environment where it’s all about the family.

“There’s lots of interaction with the families and children - from little ones to teenagers.

“I began helping in the kitchen every Sunday, that fitted in well, and then when the grandchildren started school, I decided to come on Wednesday afternoons as well.

“I love it. It’s a really lovely team, everybody is so friendly from the staff in the kitchen, the care team and the families staying for short breaks.”

A typical day for Barbara includes some food preparation, clearing tables and loading the dishwasher.

She said: “I don’t have to do anything I’m not comfortable with, such as cooking,

“I try to stay away from cooking as that’s not my forte, but I might make a salad or a fruit salad.

“I’m happy peeling veg, doing anything basic or prepping meals; the fundamentals.”

The hospice relies on volunteers to keep it running and it is in desperate need of more people to offer a few hours of their time in the kitchen.

Barbara said: “I would encourage anyone to get in touch with Charlton Farm if they’re interested in helping in the kitchen and want to give a few hours to help and be part of a team.

“I’ve learnt so much in my time here, it’s so inspiring and keeps me busy and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

To find out more about volunteering, call Zoe Ford on 01275 866600.

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