A snap decision to sign up to do a skydive for St Luke’s led to 23-year-old Sophie joining the dedicated team of volunteers who give their time and energy to support St Luke’s fundraising events throughout the year. Sophie explains:
“I’d always wanted to do a skydive, so when I heard at work that I could do it for a local charity I thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t have a personal connection with St Luke’s, but when I saw for myself what it means to so many people I started to feel very strongly about the place.”
In 2017 Sophie raised more than £1500 for St Luke’s through skydive sponsorship and a raffle. Since then she has volunteered for us at the Sheffield Half Marathon, Celebration of Life, Night Strider and our Enchanted Winter Ball. She says:
“The fundraising team are great at showing you the difference you can make as a volunteer. I was given the opportunity to look around the hospice and see for myself how important the money I’ve raised and the time I’ve given is. I’m lucky enough not to have been through this, but when you are there it just hits you that this is real and every single day families in Sheffield are affected by terminal illness.
“St Luke’s makes people’s experience of death that bit easier. The staff don’t only help the patients, they help families and friends too by taking away some of the stress and giving people good memories at a difficult time. You’d expect there to be sadness there, but I didn’t imagine there would be so much happiness at St Luke’s.”
Sophie’s experience of volunteering has been just as positive for her as it has been for St Luke’s:
“People don’t talk enough about how much fun it is to be a volunteer. I enjoy working at these events so much it doesn’t feel like I am giving up anything. You meet lots of like-minded people, so I’ve made good friends and you get to try different things. I always feel valued; everyone in the St Luke’s fundraising team remembers who you are and how you’ve helped, and they always say thank you.
“Just giving a few hours can help to make other people’s lives better and that makes me happy. I want to do something with my life that means something and volunteering gives me that opportunity.”
“I have had loads of good experiences as a volunteer, but my favourite memory was when I was giving out medals at Night Strider. One woman came over the finish line and just gave me a huge hug. She was so emotional as she was walking in memory of a loved one and it was just a fantastic, happy/sad moment. It meant a lot to be part of a night that gave so many people a sense of achievement.”
“If I had to describe St Luke’s in one word it would be ‘powerful’. For one place to have such a positive impact on so many people is extremely powerful. We are talking about the end of people’s lives and to make that experience the best it can possibly be is so important.”