Pauline and Andy Carr are two local heroes volunteering for Cransley Hospice Trust.  The local end of life care charity has over 100 volunteers helping out in various roles, at fundraising events, out in the community, and in the Cransley retail shops. The volunteers who give their time for free help the charity raise vital funds to support end of life care for people in North Northamptonshire.

Volunteering started in medieval times and has become a fundamental part of the British way of life. It’s reportedly worth around £324bn to the British economy each year and charities would struggle to raise the funds they do without the support of their volunteer heroes.

In 2023 the Cransley Hospice Trust volunteers gave hundreds of hours of their time so that more patients and families have access to the support they need when they need it.

Cransley Hospice Trust are looking for more local people to come forward and join their family of volunteers so that they can develop the services for end of life care.  Two local heroes, Pauline and Andy Carr explain how they became volunteers and what keeps them motivated to keep giving up their free time to do it.

When ex-Cransley Hospice Occupational Therapist Pauline Carr spotted a flyer asking for volunteers to join the Cransley team to collect Christmas trees, she didn’t hesitate in getting herself and her husband Andy signed up.

Pauline remembers “I thought it would be something nice for us to do together, Andy likes physical work and being outdoors.

“The first time we helped at the Christmas Tree recycle and we loved it!

“We enjoyed it so much that we put ourselves forward to help at other events.  We didn’t want anything permanent, so we only help where we can and when it fits in for us, around our semi-retirement.

“We’ve been to some wonderful events, things we wouldn’t normally go to, like the Golf day.  We were only signed up for the morning but were enjoying it so much we stayed on to help for the rest of the day.

“Cransley are such a lovely team.  They always make us feel welcome, valued and appreciated and we get to use some of our skills.  Once you give up work you can quickly become deskilled if you don’t keep doing things.”

Andy said “It motivates us knowing that we’re doing something good and our time is being put to good use. It gets us out and about, widens our social circle and helps to keep us both physically and mentally fit.

“There’s so much to gain. There’s such a variety of opportunities.  Admin doesn’t suit me, but I helped set up the 25th-anniversary robin installation “Robins appear when loved ones are near” at Chester House on one of the hottest days of the year and that was brilliant!

“We’re going to start doing one of the tub collection routes regularly.  We’ll just add it into what we’re doing so we’re looking forward to that.”

“There are so many bad things going on, but we can’t change that.  But, if we all do a little bit of good we could make a big difference – it makes you feel good and it’s good for your health too.  I would urge anyone who has some time to try it and see.”

Pauline and Andy have helped at such a range of events and occasions for Cransley Hospice Trust and are very much part of the Cransley family.  Their enjoyment is clear to see.

Cransley Hospice Trust volunteers make an insurmountable contribution to the success of the charity, giving up their own time, and sharing their knowledge and skills to help raise more funds so that more seriously ill patients can die in comfort and with dignity.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering for Cransley Hospice can contact volunteercoordinator@cransleyhospice.org.uk or call 03000 274040 for more information.  There will be a free to attend information event with coffee, biscuits and a chance to meet other volunteers on Thursday 25th April at Cransley Hospice Trust, Fundraising Office, St Mary’s Hospital Site, 77 London Road, Kettering,  NN15 7PW.