It takes an army of 900 volunteers to help Cornish charity Cornwall Hospice Care provide its very special service in Cornwall. To mark National Volunteers Week (1 to 7 June), the charity is saluting those who give their time and skills, to say thank you and to inspire others to join up. As part of the charity’s #HospiceStories project, Colin Hatch from Hayle and Gwen Bentley from Summercourt have made a short film about their roles, explaining why they volunteer and what it means to them. It’ll be launched at www.cornwallhospicecare.co.uk on Monday 1 June.

“Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do”, says Becky Rust, Volunteer Services Coordinator at Cornwall Hospice Care. “We simply couldn’t manage without them, and it’s thanks to them all that we can provide such special and compassionate care to patients and their families at our two adult hospices.  They help on the wards, run our receptions, work in our shops, fundraise, drive vans, garden and so much more. In fact there’s a role to suit everyone and to match their skills. I should add that all our charity Trustees are also volunteers.”

Colin Hatch enjoyed a working life with Cornwall Fire and Rescue and when he retired decided to use his time to support charity. Now in his fifth year as a volunteer at Cornwall Hospice Care, he assists with fire safety training and does shifts as the receptionist at St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle; “I enjoyed a career that involved dealing with the public and I wanted to continue that and my brother received care, love and support in a hospice so I also wanted to show my thanks. I thoroughly enjoy the voluntary work and I would say to people please give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Colin also does volunteer shifts for the National Coastwatch Institution in St Ives and supports the Cornwall Rugby Team.  


Pictured above: Colin delivering fire safety training.

Gwen Bentley is a ward volunteer at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell. She decided to take up her voluntary role after retiring from an office job; “I saw this as a chance to do something entirely different and the work is extremely rewarding. It also takes you out of yourself, you have to think of others and it’s a lovely environment to work in. As well as the ward shift, I also help with our Look Good Feel Good service where we assist people with hats and scarves at a time when they may be suffering from side effects such as hair loss.”    

Pictured above: Gwen on ward duty as a volunteer.

Becky Rust says National Volunteers Week is the perfect moment to say thank you; “The week is a celebration of the contribution millions of volunteers make across the country. It gives us all the opportunity to say a big thank you to our volunteers and to acknowledge just how much they do for our charity. We would be lost without them. It also means we can remind people of our constant need for more volunteers in any number of roles.  We hope others will be inspired by Colin and Gwen and by the many other volunteers we’ll be featuring over the next two weeks, and will come and have a chat about joining the team.”

To find out more about volunteering at Cornwall Hospice Care, you can contact Becky Rust at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell on 07717 892166. 

Click here to watch Gwen and Colin's story.