On Wednesday 6th October, a celebratory afternoon tea party was hosted by the charity at Little Havens in Thundersley with many of the 51 volunteers – also known as ‘Volunt-Hares’ – in attendance.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet and chat to other ‘Volunt-Hares’ as well as reflect on the success of the trail and their outstanding contribution across the summer, with the project raising more than £477,000 for the charity’s free care. They were then presented with certificates and special medals as a token of thanks by Havens Hospices CEO Steve Smith and Director of Income Generation Tom Abbott, followed by afternoon tea.
Volunteers included Denise Pullen, 56 and Karen Robinson, 55 both from Benfleet. Denise said, “It was great to volunteer and be part of the trail, it gave us the opportunity to enjoy time outside walking and we also made friends with other volunteers.” Karen continued: “Out of all of our shifts it only rained once so the weather was on our side too. Wearing the Hares About Town t-shirts made us stand out and encouraged the community to speak to us on the trail. We enjoyed being out in Southend having the opportunity to talk to passers-by about the Hares and the legacy they are creating for Havens Hospices.”
Jean Sims, 74 from Shoebury already volunteers at Havens Hospices on reception. She jumped at the opportunity to support the trail throughout the summer to support the campaign. She said, “It was an exciting new project for Southend and it was great to be out in the community talking to people about the Hares and how they could support Havens Hospices. I got a real buzz being out in Southend meeting supporters and having the opportunity to talk to people about the trail.”
Steve Hockett, 68 from Southend decided to volunteer to give something back to the hospice after Fair Havens cared for his dad some years ago. He said: “I’ve always been passionate about fundraising and supporting the hospice. One of the fundraisers at Havens Hospices told me about the Hares About Town project, which was a way to help and give back. It was amazing to see lots of visitors throughout the whole trail.”
Lynda Viccars, 64 from Leigh-on-Sea enjoyed volunteering so much she even brought her dog along to help with his own Hares About Town neck scarf.
Louise Gloyne, Head of Philanthropy and the Hares About Town Project Lead said: “It was absolutely wonderful to welcome back our ‘Volunt-Hares’ to thank them for all they have done for the charity over the summer. Hares About Town brought so much joy to the people of Southend and beyond, we could not have raised the amount we did without their enthusiasm, dedication, and time. Every pound raised is helping us provide more care for more local families facing the challenges of complex or incurable conditions.”
The volunteers at Havens Hospices come from all backgrounds and ages and achieve extraordinary things for the charity. To find out more about volunteering for Havens Hospices visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/volunteering
Published 11th October 2021