havens hospices celebrate their young ambassadors

25 July 2017

On Wednesday 12th July, Havens Hospices invited their 2016 - 2017 Young Ambassadors and families to join them for a celebration of all their hard work over the past year.

The Young Ambassadors who have collectively volunteered for over a thousand hours in a various departments at either Fair Havens or Little Havens Hospice were joined by their parents, supervisors and members of the executive team including Chief Executive Andy Smith.

Young Ambassador Meena Veeramani seventeen years old spoke at the celebration about her volunteering experience at Fair Havens Hospice. She said

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faye, Elaine, everyone in the Fair Havens Kitchen who I worked with and all the amazing people I met; you all helped me integrate into the hospice environment which is quite difficult and gave me a big opportunity because it is really difficult getting work experience in a health care environment especially if you are under eighteen. I also want to say a special thank you to my Dad who drove me to Fair Havens every other Friday and then waited two hours until I finished my shift.

I was working in the kitchen so there were the usual duties like washing up and prepping vegetables, but I also got to take orders from the patients and serving them meals. I think the most memorable part of my journey has been meeting the patients and talking to the nurses and families about their views on life in a hospice and hospice care; it has been a real eye opener.

“I’m really grateful for this experience and personally I’ve gained a lot from this process, both personal and communication skills. But for me the most valuable lesson I have learnt from my experience in the hospice is being happy with the life I have been given, and cherishing every moment.”

Trevor Johnson Director of HR and Volunteer Services commented,

“This is the 9th year of the Young Ambassadors scheme; this year we had twenty-five Young Ambassadors from nine different schools and colleges across the Essex area. They worked alongside staff and volunteers at both of our hospices in various departments including the Fair Havens Kitchen, our Fair Havens Day Care Operation, Little Havens care floor and STEMS team.

“I’d like to say thank you to all our Young Ambassadors; the work that they’ve done has been fantastic. We gain an awful lot from our Young Ambassadors and I hope we gave some of that back to them.  This scheme is only possible because of the Havens Volunteer Services team and so I’d also like to recognise Elaine and Sarah standing at the back there, who are some of our staff who look after the Young Ambassadors when they are volunteering

“We are hugely reliant on our volunteers; we currently have about a thousand volunteers across our organisation including Young Ambassadors who donate nearly 175,000 hours which saves Havens Hospices around £2.5 million which allows us to put that money back in to the care and support we provide to adults, children and their families across Essex.  

Our patients and their families gain a great deal out of our services, but this is only possible because of volunteers and Young Ambassadors; they are unable to personally thank our Young Ambassadors. So I would like to thank you on their behalf because what you do makes a big difference to them at a difficult time in their lives; thank you all for helping ‘Making every day count’ for everyone who uses Havens Hospices.”

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