One Christmas I spoke fondly to a group of hospital volunteers. They really do bring you back to reality when you get too big for your britches.
We meet once again. Many familiar faces, some new ones to whom I give a very warm welcome, and sadly some dear friends now absent whom we remember fondly yet sadly today.
Thinking about today two quotes came to mind and apply to you all –
“Those who can, do, Those who can do more, volunteer.“
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they are priceless.“
Our business is always changing, the organisation we work within is always changing, our budgets, rules, and requirements are always changing but what is not changing is the ongoing need for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a sandwich when you have been beside a sick relative all night.
I know we rely on our Volunteers to raise much needed donations for valuable equipment and for all that we say a sincere and grateful thank you but what we need, above all that, is the presence of kind and caring people to make what can otherwise be a hectic or sad and miserable visit for patients and family a little more tolerable.
You all do that in your own ways. You come with all your own sorrows and daily challenges yet you still turn up here at ungodly hours and say ‘How can I help you?’
There are no words of thanks that can really capture the value of what you bring to our service from your volunteering but on behalf of all the clinical and non-clinical staff – thank you.
ln finishing I am reminded of some words Oscar Wilde penned – “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
All of us who call ourselves managers and leaders have such great intentions but often your small unpaid daily efforts deliver more hope and satisfaction to those in need than we can despite our many hours of planning.
Please keep it up and have a very Merry Christmas with your families and friends and I look forward to your good company, friendly banter and smiles in the New Year – thank you!