Celebrating our dedicated volunteers

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 charity will hold coffee and cake drop-ins for its volunteers at the Pear Tree Centre in Halesworth. The celebrations take place tomorrow (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 10 June to thank its volunteers.

The celebrations come as three dedicated volunteers who give up their time to support the Pear Tree Fund have spoken passionately about the satisfaction they get from helping others.

Jane Parry, Mike Hume and Jane Reeve have together clocked up more than five years volunteering with the charity, which provides emotional, physical and practical support to people with life-limiting illnesses, as well as an information and advice service at the Pear Tree Centre in Halesworth.

Jane (Parry) and Mike 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 Jane. “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.

“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.”

Mike 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 with 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 Jane.

“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.”

To find out more about volunteering with the Pear Tree Fund, call 01986 899655 or email peartreecentre@peartreefund.org

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