The event, attended by over 90 volunteers and supporters, was an opportunity for Noah’s Ark to publicly reward and recognise their commitment and enthusiasm.
Over the past few years the number and diversity of volunteers has been steadily growing. Currently Noah’s Ark has over 100 active volunteers including teenagers, families and pensioners.
Founded in 1999, Noah’s Ark helps life-limited children and their families living in the communities of Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Islington and Camden through the provision of its community outreach services.
Gill Dodge, Chief Executive said: “Most people think a hospice service is about death and dying, but in fact it’s about life and living. Many of our families have many years together and our job is to help them make the most of that. That’s where these volunteers are so wonderful as they really make a difference to people in their own communities. They are exceptional”.
In 2010 a total of 7,000 hours of time was given by fundraising, administrative and family support volunteers saving the charity an estimated £60,000. One volunteer was recognised for giving up 550 hours of her time, the equivalent of 70 days worth of a full-time member of staff. [Ed: As most readers know, it is information like this which really warms my heart!]
She added: “We are putting a lot into developing our volunteers as we recognise how important they are to the charity. We now have a Volunteer Development Manager and funding to expand the volunteer programme”.
Chris Clark, from Enfield, has been volunteering for Noah’s Ark for almost 4 years. She became involved with the charity during her time as Chairman of her local Rotary Club. She said: “We were lucky enough to have four healthy children and when someone from the charity came to speak to our club about the hospice I knew I had to help out.
“You’re not expected to do lots and lots, just as much as you would like. I’m amazed I did 40 hours last year – I’ll be looking to do even more this year!”
John Robinson, from Potters Bar, also gave 40 hours of his time last year as a Family Day volunteer. John became involved with the charity through his love for Barnet FC who are long-standing supporters of Noah’s Ark.
During her presentation Gill Dodge announced that the charity had raised a staggering £1.2m in 2010, double the amount raised in 2009.
Ms Dodge stressed that 2011 ‘starts from zero’ again. The launch of an organisation appeal (to include funding to build a hospice on the site in Byng Road, Barnet) presents the next major challenge.