Volunteer Tony Golding is very much part of the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) family.
The 72-year-old has a personal connection with the charity, having first come into contact with it during a painful chapter of his life.
Twenty-one years ago last August, grandson Samuel died at the age of nine and a half months in the bungalow that was then Ipswich’s EACH hospice. He had a condition called spinal muscular atrophy.
While undoubtedly a harrowing time, it forged the beginnings of a relationship and Tony now dedicates much of his time to volunteering for the charity in Suffolk.
It is a role he would recommend to anyone and his interview comes during a fortnight-long campaign to recruit more fundraising volunteers. The drive to boost numbers is called #WeNeedYou – Be the difference, be an EACH Champion.
“I’ve been volunteering for 20 years,” said Tony.
“I have a ‘technical’ term for being part of the EACH family and that is being a ‘bereaved grandparent’.
“My whole family was supported in the hospice for the last weeks of Sam’s life, which you will understand was not the easiest time in our lives.
“However, EACH and its lovely staff made that time as special as possible.
“Over those 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of doing most, if not all, types of volunteering that is encompassed in the role of fundraising volunteer.
“Perhaps the most exciting time, but not exclusively, was being involved in the Treehouse Appeal, which brought about the building of the current hospice in Ipswich.
“To play just a small part, in the scheme of things, in raising in excess of £3 million in under 12 months was incredible.
“The goodwill generated in the county during that time was truly palpable. What a privilege to be involved.”
Tony, who is married with two children and three grandchildren, has been involved in all kinds of fundraising activities and is also a keen and competent public speaker, using his communication skills to spread the word about EACH’s work across Suffolk and East Anglia.
“My favourite type of fundraising is one that enables me to tell my story and say how wonderful the charity and its staff are,” he said.
“So I thoroughly enjoy talking to community and business organisations, saying thank you for money raised and meeting people who visit our stands at shows around the region. That kind of thing would be up there among my favourite activities.
“I would certainly encourage anyone looking to support a charity.
“My message would be to come and join this wonderful charity and become part of the family that is EACH.”
EACH is on the lookout for additional people to lend a hand and support its various fundraising activities.
This could be at its own events or those organised by a third party, corporate and community speaking or bucket and pot collections.
Anyone interested in getting involved can contact EACH Volunteer Services via 01223 205183.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our campaign, head here.