Working at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House gives volunteers and staff a “great sense of satisfaction”

The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House launched an appeal on Friday to raise �750,000 and in the third of a five-part series, some of the charity's volunteers and staff talk about why they joined the charity.

According to Richard Shaw, chief executive at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, the charity would not be able to continue operating without the support of their 'enthusiastic and dedicated' band of volunteers.

And it's not hard to see why. There are scores of volunteers milling about around the hospice at different times throughout every day using the skills and expertise they have acquired to support the professional staff in the vital care they provide to patients and their families.

Some work alongside day care staff or help drive the patients to and from the hospice while others help out in administration and at fundraising events or work in the charity's various shops across Norfolk.

Downham Market resident Kay Ingram, from Downham Market, volunteers every Thursday and helps the day care team at Tapping House.


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Asked what she gets out of volunteering at Tapping House, she said: 'I have such a lot of respect for the people who come here and how gutsy they are.

'It's not always easy for people and some are very ill but there are some brilliant characters who come here.

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'I would recommend this to anyone to help people get a better understanding of what happens at a hospice.'

Sue Shaw, who lives in nearby Hunstanton, has been a day care volunteer at Tapping House for almost seven years after working previously with teenagers with cancer.

She said: 'I come here on a Thursday to help look after the patients and make the day good for them and then every Tuesday, I organise patient transport so people can be brought here and then taken home.

'I love to be here to make it the best day possible for the patients. I really feel like I'm helping them to cope and have a special day out.

'With transport, although it can be a nightmare, if I didn't do it then some patients wouldn't be able to get here so both roles are rewarding and I'm very satisfied when I go home that I have done something great.'

Martin Goodchild, from King's Lynn, has been a Tapping House volunteer for two years.

He currently volunteers on a Monday and Wednesday by collecting and delivering furniture for the charity's shops and on Thursdays and Fridays he takes patients to and from the day care centre.

He said: 'I really enjoy it here and I most enjoy the patient contact, picking them up from their house and running them back.

'I also enjoy meeting different people and overall, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction and helps me give something back to the community.'

Emma Allen works as a day care sister for three days a week at the day care centre and has been in her post for two years.

She said: 'Tapping House is an upbeat kind of place and is not what people think a hospice will be like - it's not a depressing place.

'We see it as a positive place to be and encourage people to enjoy what life they have left.'

She added: 'I can't wait for the new hospice in Hillington to open. It's been a long time coming but I just can't wait to walk through the doors for the first time.

'It's what the people are Norfolk need and I know there is a massive need for it because we are always saying things like if only we had the beds, etc.'

Meanwhile complimentary therapist Helen Wootton also enjoys working as a paid member of staff for three days a week.

She said: 'We provide relaxation for both patients and carers through a range of techniques. Some of the patients tell us it really helps with the pain relief and it's lovely working here.

'It's a very rewarding job to have and it's great knowing we are doing something very beneficial.'

There are lots of ways you can support the Seahorse Appeal to raise �750,000 for The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House.

You can donate from your mobile phone by sending a text with DVDO21 and the donation amount to 70070 or online by visiting www.justgiving.com/tappinghouse.

You can also send a cheque payable to The Norfolk Hospice to The Fundraising Office, The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, Common Road (West), Snettisham, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 7PF.

For information about the charity and other ways you can donate visit www.norfolkhospice.org.uk.

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