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Isabel Hospice celebrates Stortford volunteer Mel Belcher this National Volunteer Week

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For National Volunteer Week (June 1-7), Isabel Hospice is celebrating the team of 750-plus supporters who help the charity care for people with terminal illnesses.

Among its army of dedicated volunteers is Mel Belcher, who volunteers at the hospice's Living Well sessions at the St Barnabas Centre in Thorley each Thursday morning.

Mel signed up as a volunteer in May 2018, 11 years after the charity cared for her mother, Maureen, in the same place.

Mel Belcher (10908893)
Mel Belcher (10908893)

“Mum came to the Living Well sessions in Thorley and loved them," said Mel. "She painted when she was here and had never done that before. I still have the paintings she gave me on my wall at home.

"I thought about volunteering after she died, but I thought all volunteering was in Welwyn Garden City and I live in Bishop’s Stortford. Then last year I saw an article in the local paper asking for Isabel Hospice volunteers at Thorley. They wanted someone to set up and then clear away after their Living Well sessions.

"Ten years down the line, the time was just right for me. My children were older and it fitted in with my work shifts at the Sainsbury's petrol station [in Thorley Park]."

Mel added: "All the volunteers work together for the patients and the nursing staff. You feel really appreciated and part of a team. I stay for about three hours and really enjoy it.

"One of the nice things about volunteering in Thorley is that this was a special place for my mum, so it’s a real pleasure to volunteer here."

Linda Wood, Isabel Hospice's volunteer manager, said: "Volunteering is a wonderful way to give something back and help your local town. It's often a springboard to paid employment and refreshes and builds up skills.

"Isabel Hospice is looking for volunteers for our shop in the town, in our patient-centred services and in our fundraising team, headed up by Renee Friend, chairman of the Bishop’s Stortford Fundraising Support Group."

To find out more about Isabel Hospice's volunteer opportunities in Stortford, call Linda on 01707 382517 or Renee on 01279 755320.

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