Updated: Thursday, 5th December 2019 @ 2:39pm

They go above and beyond: Youngest and oldest Christie volunteers launch campaign to celebrate fantastic work

They go above and beyond: Youngest and oldest Christie volunteers launch campaign to celebrate fantastic work

| By Michael Halpin

Age has proved to be no barrier as the oldest and youngest volunteers for The Christie have launched a campaign to celebrate the contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

Eighty-six-year-old Norah Brady and seventeen-year-old Cecilia Derrick are just two of the volunteers taking parting in National Volunteers Week.

Now into its thirtieth year, the annual event will take place from June 1-7 and both Norah and Cecilia were invited to The Chrisite Hospital to launch the campaign.

Retired social services administrator, Norah, has been volunteering for ten years at The Christie regularly serving tea in the outpatient waiting area.

She began volunteering shortly after losing her husband, Jack.

“I wanted the company of other people and felt that volunteering at The Christie would be good for me,” she said.

“I felt lost after my husband passed away and it was good to have something positive to look forward to.

“I knew it was helping other people too and I think it brought out the best in me. I really enjoy having contact with the patients and everyone who uses the tea bar. I love it.”

Cecilia is the youngest volunteer at The Christie and plays the harp – which she has been doing for ten years and has already completed her Grade eight exam – to the patients.

Cecilia said: “Pupils at our school are encouraged to do voluntary work, so I thought it might help if I played my harp for people at The Christie.

“I play a whole range of music including classical, folk & jazz, so hopefully the patients will hear something they like.”

Norah and Cecilia are two of more than 350 people who volunteer each year at The Christie, carrying out a wide range of jobs including giving out library books on the wards, escorting patients and visitors to different departments and serving refreshments. 

Volunteers on the tea bar play a key role in supporting patients, helping them to feel more relaxed and at home when they come to The Christie for their treatment.

Many of the volunteers were previously patients at the Christie and are happy to share their experiences and help direct new patients.

Interim Chief Executive at The Christie, Roger Spencer, said: “Our volunteers are such an important part of The Christie. 

“Without their continued dedication and support we simply wouldn’t be able to maintain the excellent reputation we’re renowned for.”

“National Volunteers Week is an opportunity for us to recognise the enormous contribution of our volunteers.

“They continually go above and beyond, giving up their spare time, to provide such an invaluable service and enhance the patients’ experience.  We can’t thank each and every one of them enough.”

Coffee mornings will be held to celebrate the campaign and a public display at The Christie will showcase the vital work that volunteers do.

To find out more about volunteering at The Christie, please contact Sue Royle on 0161 446 3056 or email sue.royle@christie.nhs.uk or you can hear from Christie staff, patients, volunteers and fundraisers via the weekly Christie blog – www.christie.nhs.uk/blog

Image courtesy of thechristienhs, via Youtube, with thanks