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17 Apr 2018 Volunteer News

An inspirational Volunteer

We have lots of fantastic volunteers who give up their time for Kirkwood. Meet one of our new volunteers, Pippa, who when not spending time at the Connect Day Centre for adults with complex learning difficulties, is volunteering her time at the Kirkwood Hospice Charity Shop in Newsome.

Pippa Crowther, 24 from Huddersfield, is one of our newest volunteers at the Hospice’s Charity Shop in Newsome.

Pippa is also a member of the Connect Day Care Service in Newsome which cares for young adults with complex needs.

Young Huddersfield woman, Pippa, has been a member of the Connect Day Care Centre since August 2017 and now attends two days a week enjoying shopping trips, outdoor activities and jam making as well as making use of the Centre’s many facilities.

The Centre, which celebrated its one year Anniversary back in January, is open six days a week and offers a wide range of facilities to support those 16 years and over with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and sensory impairment.

 

Debbie Kerr, Activity Co-ordinator, with Pippa in the Centre's Trampoline Room

 

With facilities including a trampoline room for rebound physical therapy, sensory rooms, a technology and entertainment suite, craft areas, hydrotherapy and an accessible kitchen area, the Centre is all about finding fun ways to promote healthy, active and independent life while combatting loneliness and helping young people make friends.

Once she began to feel more comfortable and confident at the Centre, Pippa put in an application to volunteer at Kirkwood Hospice and since the beginning of the year has been working one hour a week tagging and hanging clothes, with the ultimate goal to work front-of-house on the shop till.

Pippa said: “I volunteer at the shop because I wanted to get some experience and one of my friends’ sons died at the Hospice and they helped him a lot. I love helping people and I love helping charities especially. Volunteering has definitely helped my confidence so I hope to keep volunteering for some time.

“The Centre also helps me a lot with my independence and getting to know people, making new friends and learning new skills and being able to do something different.”

Pippa tagging clothes at the Newsome Shop

 

When Pippa is not giving up her time at the Hospice, she enjoys singing in a local church choir, attending day trips with the community group ‘Jubilee Together’ and is even an avid gardener; growing her own fruit and vegetables in the Centre’s allotment.

Debbie Kerr, Activity Co-ordinator at Connect Day Services, along with other staff members and Managing Director, Diana Marshall, works to support those at the centre and is extremely proud of the progress Pippa has made.

She said: “All of us at the centre are really proud of Pippa. Pippa’s first goal was attending her placement on her own without staff, which she achieved on her second week. Seeing that confidence compared to this time a year ago is amazing.

“Our ultimate aim at the Centre is for every single person that comes here to feel more independent and confident. For Pippa to be able to start this placement on her own, and even do an interview and have her photo taken is all phenomenal progress and has shown us just how capable she is. We love what we do and we have a lot of fun doing it.

"It's so nice to see Pippa out there doing these things on her own. I'm just here to cheer her on." Debbie Kerr, Activity Co-ordinator

“Pippa has also taken on a sort of Ambassador role at the Centre, taking new people under her wing, showing them round and helping them to not be so shy.

"It’s so nice to see Pippa out there doing these things on her own. I’m just here to cheer her on.”

Pippa with Newsome shop Manager, Charlotte Shaw

 

Charlotte Shaw is the Shop Manager in Newsome who, along with her existing team of volunteers, makes sure to support Pippa and other volunteers with additional needs as much as possible.

She said: “Pippa has learnt a lot already and she’s doing really well. As a shop, we’re honoured to support those who need extra support as much as we can, and it’s so rewarding to see how they develop and grow.”

To find out more about Connect Day Services, please click here.

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