Michael is a Host volunteer at the hospice and generally does one four-hour shift per week. He can usually be found operating the till in The Street Café, happily taking money off customers. Michael has been a volunteer at St Wilfrid’s for a few years now, but why does he do it?

'Well, like many people, there’s a family connection. My mother was cared for in the old hospice in 2003 and was very well looked after, so I suppose I just wanted to give something back.

'I had been a volunteer at the Bluebell Railway, working in catering on the trains and one day when I visited the café at the hospice, I decided to ask if they needed any help.

Like many, I was greeted with open arms.

Michael joined the Host team and started off working in the In Patient Unit (IPU), but the pull of the café was greater and 'I thought I’d feel more comfortable in The Street. I jumped at the chance of working on the till', he says.

Following his induction training, Michael’s additional training has been on-the-job learning the till. He says, 'When I worked on the railway I did all the adding up in my head, so this is easy. It only took me a few minutes to get the hang of the till, even the new one we recently had.'

'Because I am a regular I’ve got to know many regular visitors and we have a laugh together. I enjoy the responsibility, and it’s nice to be there for relatives too when they visit.

'When I retired, that was the thing I missed most, and volunteering also makes me feel I’m doing something useful.'

What would Michael say to someone unsure about whether they could be a volunteer?

I’d say it’s worth finding out if there is a role you could do. There are so many different areas, the garden, the shops all sorts.

There are hundreds of jobs which need doing within the work of the charity, and they may not all be obvious. Why not visit the Volunteer pages on this site or contact the Voluntary Services team at [email protected] and see what opportunities await you.