Charity pays tribute to dedicated army of volunteers

Jane Reeve

Jane Reeve volunteer at Dee’s Den, the fund’s charity shop - Credit: The Pear Tree Fund

The Pear Tree Fund is paying tribute to its base of loyal volunteers by hosting two special thank you events during national Volunteers Week.

The Halesworth-based charity which provides emotional, physical and practical support to people with life-limiting illnesses will hold coffee and cake drop-ins for its volunteers at the Pear Tree Centre.

The celebrations take place on Wednesday from 10am to 12.30pm and Friday from 1pm to 3.30pm.

In addition, Halesworth Volunteer Centre will also host an event at the Pear Tree Centre on June 10 to thank its volunteers.

Jane Parry and Mike Hume both volunteer at the centre, meeting and greeting visitors, offering a listening ear, making cups of tea and helping in the garden.

“I’ve always been interested in volunteering,” said Ms Parry.

“I enjoy being given the chance to give something back to the community and helping people to feel welcome and cared about while they are facing difficult situations. A lot of people have lost loved ones during this time and have been so grateful to be given the chance to come and relax over a cup of tea. You can almost see them sigh with relief as they come through the door.

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“I find being able to help people so satisfying. Listening to them and giving them the chance to offload can make a real difference. I’d definitely recommend it to others.”

Mr Hume added: “I find volunteering really satisfying and rewarding. A lot of people in the later stages of life come to see us, and really appreciate the opportunity for a cup of tea, a chat and some companionship.

“There is a really friendly atmosphere at the Pear Tree Centre. We want people to know that we are here for them and that they can drop in if they need a listening ear.

“I would encourage other people with some spare time to consider volunteering. There are plenty of opportunities available and something for everyone.”

Jane Reeve volunteers at Dee’s Den, the fund’s charity shop in Steeple End, Halesworth. As well as serving customers, she also helps sort through donations and managing the stock room.

“I really enjoy volunteering – it is incredibly sociable and lots of people come in to chat as well as shop, which is really important as it is vital to stay connected in a rural community,” said Ms Reeve.

“Volunteering gives me a real feeling of satisfaction and of giving something back. It’s very rewarding and there really is something for everyone.”

Kevin Vaughan, chief executive of the Pear Tree Fund, said: “At the Pear Tree Fund, we are fortunate enough to have a small army of dedicated volunteers who play a vital role supporting the charity. From meeting visitors and offering a listening ear to showing off their green-fingers in the garden or stocking the shelves of our charity shop, they make a huge contribution every single day.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to them all.”

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