Community News

Martlets thanks its volunteers

Besi Besemar May 30, 2018

Martlets will thank its 560 volunteers during Volunteers’ Week by highlighting the essential contribution they make to the hospice and the communities of Brighton & Hove.

VOLUNTEERS’ Week, a national week to recognise the invaluable contribution that volunteers make to society, runs from June 1 to 7.

Imelda Glackin, the CEO of Martlets explains: “This year we’re celebrating the huge range of people who give their time in so many ways.

“At Martlets our volunteers are the absolute backbone of everything we do.  They might be helping in our charity shops, at our warehouse, enthusiastically fundraising, supporting patients and their families or at the hospice itself.

Imelda Glackin
Imelda Glackin

“Some of our volunteers provide counselling and bereavement care, give complementary therapies and care for our patients in the community.  They also assist our ward clerks, help in our offices, serve refreshments and look after our garden.

“In short, our volunteers play an essential part in the hospice care that we provide to patients and their families.  We could not do what we do without their fantastic commitment and contribution. There are numerous roles that suit all kinds of people with many different skills, life experience and knowledge.

“Volunteers often say how rewarding the experience is for them.  Friendships are made and it’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out.  Volunteering can also help people to gain valuable new skills and boost confidence.”

Alex Mahoney (19), a keen gamer who spends two days a week testing donated computer games and checking games consoles for Martlets, says: “It’s probably one of the more unusual volunteering roles.  However, we get all sorts of games and consoles donated to us and we need to know that they work before we can sell them on to raise money for the hospice.

“It’s great to be able to use my gaming knowledge in a good way to help a charity.  It’s quite satisfying when you see something that you’ve worked on getting sold; you feel like you’ve helped out.

“Volunteering is helping me to gain experience of working and it’s shown me an area of work that I might like to try in the future, which I hadn’t thought of before.  It’s also a lot of fun and the people here are very nice.”

Bridget Westerman (74) a Martlets volunteer for 21 years, visits the hospice once a week to create beautiful flower arrangements and table decorations for the patients and their visitors.

She said: “Sometimes we receive some large displays, so I make them into smaller arrangements to put in the public areas and the patients’ rooms.

“I often spend time talking with the patients; it’s really rewarding to feel that I might have cheered someone up with just a smile and a little chat.”

Ruoqi Li (24) studying for an MA in Corporate Risk and Financial Management at Sussex University helps at the hospice’s Western Road shop in her spare time.

She added: “I wanted to make a difference to the lives of others and I thought that volunteering for a charity would be a good way to help the community.

“I’ve found it to be a valuable experience, since I’m learning how to deal with lots of different people and everyone’s been so nice.

“It’s been really easy to fit volunteering around my studies.  My course finishes in September, but I shall continue to work with Martlets for as long as I live in Brighton.”

For more details on volunteering for Martlets, telephone the People Services Team on 01273 718788 or email:

Martlets is a charity that cares for people living through a terminal illness in and around Brighton and Hove. It’s much more than a hospice and is working to change perceptions of hospice care.

The hospice in Hove is a place where patients and their families can use the therapeutic services, drop-in clinics, visit the in-patient unit or just sit and have a coffee in the café.

The hospice’s community teams care for people living and dying at home.  Families and loved ones are supported into bereavement.

Martlets runs a 24/7 helpline for free, personal support, this is a collaboration between Martlets and the Sussex Community Trust’s palliative care team.

For more information about Martlets Hospice, click here: