Beth Slater, husband Henry and daughters Ella and Olivia made it a real family affair when volunteering at our recent Bubble Rush.
They pitched in and lent a hand at the popular East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) fundraiser, which took place in King’s Lynn, on 26th September.
Beth described it as “fun and purposeful” and said she would encourage others to help out at future events.
Her plea comes during EACH Champions fortnight – a campaign to recruit extra volunteers for fundraising activities.
Beth, who lives in Cambridge, said: “I knew I wanted to volunteer and get involved in the fun things that happen around EACH.
“My daughter, Ella, felt the same. She said she’d love to get some work experience and help out, even though she’s only 12.
“I made some enquiries, knowing EACH were looking for additional volunteers to help at the Bubble Rush.
“Ella said she’d be particularly keen to work on the ‘merch’ stand.
“So we ended up going along as a family, with my husband on hand to help if I needed any additional support with our six-year-old, Olivia.
“Essentially, me and the girls manned the stall and it was brilliant and such fun. We had an amazing day.
“The girls wanted to model and advertise just about every type of merchandise so we bought one of everything and spent a fortune. Mind you, we sold many more tutus, whistles and coloured visors because both my girls were wearing them!
“The girls got something special out of it.
“Ella, especially, loved talking to people and taking money. It was a great experience and it’s something I really want to continue with her.
“She’s talked since about helping in one of the shops so it’s definitely planted a seed and something we want to do again.”
Beth and her family also volunteered at the recent Mill Road Winter Fair, in Cambridge, and are due to help at this weekend’s Ely Cathedral Christmas Fair.
She believes anyone and everyone could benefit from volunteering, regardless of personal circumstances or if they lead a busy family life.
“Ella and I could have gone on our own but instead we made it a fun activity that we did together as a family,” she said.
“It’s definitely something I’d recommend and if people are reluctant to do it on their own, why don’t they go with someone else?
“It becomes a social thing then, as well as something so purposeful and worthwhile.
“Being there, around people raising money for such a great cause, actually made me quite emotional.
“It’s definitely something we’ll do again, without question, and hopefully other people feel similarly inspired.”
Beth’s feelings were echoed by Ella, who said she would jump at the chance to help again.
“I really enjoyed volunteering,” she said.
“It felt like it was for a good cause. The atmosphere was so welcoming and fun and I’d definitely do it again.”
Beth, who had previously volunteered at EACH’s Cherry Hinton shop, works as an HR Advisor/Administrator for the charity and is based at the Milton hospice, near Cambridge. She started in December 2019.
Prior to that, she spent much of her working life at a hotel, in HR.
“While I loved my role, it was a very corporate environment and the bottom line was always profit,” she said.
“Then I was made redundant and, keen to try something different, I spent time working in my daughter’s primary school.
“It was very fulfilling but I found myself a bit ‘strung out’ – needing to give so much energy in the day and then support my own young children after school.
“What I loved about it, though, was the fact I was giving something and what I was doing meant more than just profit.
“It made me think about what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to keep that feeling of purpose.
“I looked at charities and knew of EACH, because I’ve used the shop in Histon Road.
“I was aware of the great things it does so applied for this job and was fortunate enough to get it.
“Ever since becoming part of the charity, my feeling towards it has grown and grown. I think it’s amazing and feel passionately.
“Although my role isn’t directly caring for children, I feel fulfilled to think that I’m part of the process.”
EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.
Its current campaign to find more volunteers is called #WeNeedYou – Be the difference, be an EACH Champion.
Anyone interested in getting involved can contact EACH Volunteer Services via 01223 205183.
Alternatively, email email@example.com