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Fiona fires up her skills at St Oswald's!

A busy full-time Operations Manager from Carillion in Gosforth has spoken of her enjoyment at volunteering at St Oswald’s.

Fiona Murray first started volunteering with St Oswald’s 4 years ago as part of her employers scheme to encourage more volunteering within the local community. When Fiona noticed an advert on St Oswald’s website which complimented her skills, she was excited to learn more.

Fiona explained:

Carillion has a fantastic scheme where they encourage us to volunteer for up to six days per year. As Carillion supports Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care, it was fitting for me to support St Oswald’s. The Volunteer Fire Safety Trainer role seemed to suit my skills and experience perfectly, I applied, and was delighted to be successful.

Fiona enjoys taking time out from her busy schedule at Carillion to support St Oswald’s and feels especially useful as she is in a position to offer her skills and expertise for free.

Fiona told us:

With my background of working within a corporate environment, I can offer a fresh and unique perspective as to how health and safety can be enhanced within the hospice. I have also visited some of St Oswald’s charity shops to survey the premises and can advise on how to improve facilities.

As well as supporting the hospice with fire safety sessions, Fiona also attends various fundraising events as a Marshall and offers free facilities to the hospice trough her employer. Fiona said:

We don’t just fundraise and volunteer, Carillion also supports St Oswald’s by allowing them to use our meeting rooms and facilities free of charge for staff meetings and training events. We often donate old furniture to St Oswald’s and I’ve enjoyed volunteering as a Marshall at some brilliantly fun St Oswald’s events such as the Lantern Walk.

Fiona credits St Oswald’s with helping her to put her busy and often stressful life into perspective. She continued:

I thoroughly enjoy my time with St Oswald’s, it always lifts my spirits. It is an extremely pleasant environment where staff and volunteers genuinely want to be. You are always made to feel extremely valued and respected, and despite volunteering for just 6 days per year, I’m still considered ‘one of the team’ and often get invited to social gatherings such as Christmas parties.

This Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June), Fiona spoke passionately when explaining what she would say to others considering volunteering:

Do it! Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do, particularly in terms of how it can advance your own personal development. If you have skills or experiences which can support the hospice and have a small amount of time to give, you can make an immense contribution. You often find yourself engrossed in your own trivial problems, which are nothing compared to the situations found in a hospice. I believe volunteering has the power to help yourself in your own work, it isn’t a one-way process.

If you’re interested in volunteering at St Oswald’s, we have a range of exciting opportunities open to businesses and their employees, please click here to learn more.

With over 120 different roles available, from working directly with patients or in a support role, volunteers work alongside our paid staff, offering their skills, experience and expertise to every department within St Oswald's. We simply couldn’t do what we do without our army of volunteers!