Amanda Vincent St Luke's Volunteer

Amanda Vincent St Luke's Volunteer

Our specialist unit at Turnchapel is currently recruiting for care volunteers.

The unit is looking to take on volunteers with a background in care to support the work of the nurses and care assistants on the unit.  Anyone who has previous experience in care, perhaps someone who has retired from nursing might be suitable for the role.

Head of Inpatient Nursing Services at our specialist unit, Nicola Pereira said, “It’s all about adding value to what we currently do, by having extra people around it gives us more resources, meaning more time can be spent with the patients.”

Nurse Iain Mitchell is coordinating the volunteers and is currently looking to take on approximately six to eight volunteers to help out throughout the week. Volunteers are also being sought to offer hand and nail therapy to the patients, giving them the chance for a spot of pampering!

Amanda Vincent has been volunteering on the unit once a week since April. Now retired, Amanda spent 45 years as a registered nurse, working all over the world. She spent seven years working as a nurse in the army, serving in Hong Kong and Northern Ireland and in 1999 she moved down to Plymouth where she worked on the Dockyard in Occupational Health.

“I had been out of hands on nursing for 20 years and as I am now retired I thought I would like to actually use my skills”, she said.

Amanda’s role can include ‘anything and everything’ she says, from bed baths, helping to give out food to the patients at mealtimes and changing beds to just sitting with patients to keep them company.

“For anyone thinking about volunteering, do it!” said Amanda. “I would say to absolutely give it a go, as it works both ways, not only is it a benefit for me, but also to the staff working here too.”

If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer at our specialist unit, they should contact our volunteer department at volunteer@stlukes-hospice.org.uk or call 01752 401172.

Flete Estate Open Gardens

Flete Estate Open Gardens

The sun was shining on Flete Estate at the beginning of the month for our Open Garden, as we raised a record amount for patient care.

1058 visitors were treated to exclusive access to the private and historic estate in Ivybridge on Sunday 2 July, spending the day exploring the Italianate gardens, shrubbery and water gardens under blue skies and brilliant sunshine.

The afternoon raised an incredible £9,030 for patient care, £2,350 more than in 2015, when we last held an Open Garden at Flete Estate.

A big part of the total came from the selection of delicious cakes that had been donated, making an amazing £2,864.10 towards the total for the day. Raffle, plant and merchandise sales all helped contribute to the final amount as well.

Special thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard to make the day run so smoothly, especially those who were helping out at the Neon Midnight Walk the previous night. We even had submariners from HMS Vanguard and staff from the Land Registry Office helping out as parking volunteer marshals.

The historic estate was used by the city of Plymouth as a maternity hospital during and after the Second World War; with many attendees on the day having actually been born there themselves.

If you couldn’t make it to the Flete Open Gardens this year, then we will be planning to open Flete Estate Gardens again in 2019.

St Luke’s Open Gardens will be continuing throughout August and September, with upcoming gardens including Diptford Village Walkabout on Sunday 6 August between 1.30pm and 5.30pm, Alpine House in Bere Ferrers on Sunday 13 August between 11am and 4pm, Blanksmill in West Alvington on Sunday 3 September between 2pm and 5pm and Lower Charaton Cottage in Pensilva, Cornwall, on Sunday 10 September between 2pm and 5pm. We also have a selection of private gardens opening by appointment up until early November. To see the full Open Garden listings click here.