Volunteering Matters for Somerset St. Margaret’s Hospice has teamed up with the national charity Volunteering Matters, to encourage more people to volunteer in Somerset to meet growing need. The hospice is establishing a targeted ‘End of Life’ volunteer workforce in a bid to encourage more people to donate their time. St. Margaret’s currently relies on a volunteer force of 1,200 to support its vital work delivering 24 hour care and support to more than 3,000 people every year as patients, day patients and in the community. Through this partnership with Volunteering Matters, St. Margaret's hopes to create an innovative volunteering programme aimed at building capacity and skills within their existing volunteer base, and thus attract new volunteers. The initiative is one of the outcomes of the hospice's ‘Fit for Future’ review into the best future delivery of palliative care, in order to cope with a growing elderly population with more complex needs. Ann Lee, St Margaret’s Chief Executive, said: “Expanding our volunteer base, and the scope of what volunteers can do, means we can do more within existing funding. As we continue to do more with less, proactively investing in the non-paid workforce is fast becoming as important as investing in the paid.” “Through this partnership with Volunteering Matters, we hope to attract increased numbers of volunteers by providing great opportunities that could enhance career and promotion prospects. We want to eradicate the idea that volunteering is not relevant for personal development, especially among those in their 20s and 30s. Volunteers are an integral part of the team, so they are given ongoing support and training opportunities as and when available.” Volunteering Matters is a national charity (formerly known as CSV) that develops and delivers high impact volunteer-led solutions across the UK in response to some of the most difficult challenges facing individuals and their communities today. It currently engages more than 30,000 volunteers and 90,000 beneficiaries every year through 180 active programmes across the UK. Emma Thomas Hancock, Senior Operational Manager at Volunteering Matters, said: “We are delighted to be entering in to this partnership with St. Margaret’s. We believe that everyone can play a role in their community through volunteering and we build projects and programmes to reflect this. The joint initiative with St. Margaret’s is typical of the sort of work we are seeing more of: working on very specific needs in communities to address volunteer shortages and building skills capacity, while keeping in mind the needs of the volunteers.” If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities at St. Margaret's Hospice, please click here.