A FUND-RAISING group for Burton’s Queen’s Hospital is in ‘desperate’ need of volunteers, its chairman has said.
A small but dedicated team of 10 volunteers give up their free time to run the hospital’s League of Friends.
But the number of helpers has dwindled which has placed added pressure on the current crop of volunteers.
The league runs a bric-a-brac shop at the Belvedere Road site.
The league’s chairman Pauline Spratt, 72, said she is ‘desperate’ to recruit at least 10 more people, who would be ‘the next generation’ of volunteers, to cover the current team who have had to work double or triple shifts to keep the shop open.
“We are having trouble with people off on sickness and holidays so it soon knocks the numbers down,” she said.
Volunteers would need to be available for a four-hour shift to help in the shop, which is open from Monday to Friday.
It is also hoped a tech-savvy volunteer could help the league sell goods online and produce leaflets.
“The volunteers we have got are extremely good because they will do double or triple shifts for us. But it means we need people to come forward now,” Mrs Spratt said.
“It would be something for people to get up for in the morning.
“They would make friends with other volunteers and gain lots of experience and life skills.
“Being a volunteer becomes a lifestyle for a lot of people and they will look forward to coming in.”
Mrs Spratt, who worked as an occupational therapist in the hospital for 11 years, has worked with the league for 30 years after she suffered a back injury which prevented her from working.
She said: “I got tired of being at home and twiddling my thumbs. There is only so much you can do at home.
“I just wanted to get out and do something and this is where I would appeal to other people not to sit at home and to come and join us.
“They could come and work with us in the shop and forget their own worries.”
The league formed 33 years ago after hospital staff decided to raise money for Christmas decorations on one of the wards.
Since then it has raised more than £2.3 million – or £70,000 a year - which has been put towards equipment such as TVs, stretchers, suction pumps, flowers for the hospital’s chapel and vital sign monitors.
Earlier this month, the league funded four reminiscence pods – RemPods for short – in the hope they will help patients suffering from dementia.
The league also accepts donations from fund-raisers.
In August 74-year-old Stuart Haywood, of Midway, raised £600 for the league by taking part in a naked cycle ride.
Another £2,025 was raised towards the RemPods a fund-raising evening at the Apne Indian restaurant, in Cross Street, Burton.
To volunteer for the League of Friends, call Mrs Spratt on 01283 561111 or email her on Pauline.Spratt@Burtonft.nhs.uk