How do you spend your free time? Kick back and relax? Pick up a book? Do you binge on that new Netflix show?
Book-keeping student Maria Adam, aged 23, from Kent, spends her spare time volunteering and helping her community.
“It’s a nice thing to do to get out of the house, meet new people and learn something new,” Maria said after being asked what made her want to volunteer. “My favourite thing about it is the people I work with. Everyone is so friendly and patient with me, they’ve made it one of the best places I’ve worked in.”
St Christopher’s is a well-known charity celebrating its 50th year this year. It provides help and support to people in the end stages of their lives and raise vital money so that patients can enjoy their final days whether in a nursing home, a hospice or in their own homes.
It also provides much needed support to family, friends and loved ones in difficult and distressing times. The charity relies on money being donated, charity shop sales and various walks and runs to support those who require their services. In 50 years they have cared for more than 55,000 patients.
Volunteering three times a week in the local St Christopher’s Hospice charity shop, Maria’s role includes working on the till, tagging items, tidying up the shop floor and most importantly helping the customers. Whilst studying she said that it is sometimes stressful to manage everything but volunteering gives her a sense of helping within the community.
When asked why she thought volunteering with this particular charity appealed to her, Maria said “It’s important to give back. My nan was looked after at home by nurses from St Christopher’s in her last days and we were so grateful to them for the high level of care and for ensuring she was comfortable.”
So if you’re looking for a change or just a reason to get out of the house and do something new and rewarding this summer, try volunteering for a worthwhile charity such as St Christopher’s, like Maria.