Caring for People in Harrow & Brent

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Could volunteering for St Luke’s Hospice help you live longer?

This might sound a bit tongue in cheek but there are actually many surprising benefits to volunteering, and as many of our volunteers would testify, it seems that the real beneficiaries are often the volunteers themselves.

Volunteers offer invaluable support in improving the lives of others but being involved in this way is actually associated with improved life satisfaction, increased happiness and decreased symptoms of depression.

Whether offering your time, skills, or resources, volunteering is one of the most fulfilling and powerful ways to make a difference in the world. Even helping with the smallest of tasks can have a positive and significant impact on the lives of others. And it seems that, helping others can enhance your own wellbeing in return. If you are undecided about whether volunteering might be right for you, it may come as a surprise to learn just how much you could gain.

Why volunteer?

As well as the rewarding feeling that comes from the satisfaction of helping others, volunteers often benefit from feeling valued and part of a team, learning new skills, gaining confidence and self-esteem and using one’s knowledge to benefit others.

For many, volunteering appeals because of its social benefits and these are the ones which have the most meaningful impact on your own health. These include meeting new people, an increased sense of purpose and a chance to socialise. And the benefits can last a lifetime both for those being helped and by those doing the volunteering.

It can help you to feel more connected to others and to your community, help you make new friends and being part of a team can be a uniquely bonding experience.

Increased social contact with others can also have a profound impact on your mental health. Meaningful and regular connections help you to develop a support network which effects your psychological wellbeing by relieving stress and anxiety.

Helping others makes us happy

Studies have revealed that humans are programmed to give to others. Researchers have measured hormones and brain activity and have discovered that being helpful to others, delivers a deep sense of joy. In short, the more we give, the happier we feel!

Stay healthy & live longer

Perhaps the most surprising and significant benefit of all is that, according to studies of the over 70s, frequent volunteers live longer compared to non-volunteers. Older volunteers are generally more active and so less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better thinking skills. Extraordinarily, volunteering has also been found to lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

How to volunteer for St Luke’s

As we start the New Year, we again need volunteers to help in all areas from our shops to our events. If you would like to find out more about how you could get involved, please visit our Volunteering page.

Local hospice appeals for volunteers during Volunteers’ Week

This Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), St Luke’s Hospice is celebrating its volunteers for their invaluable contributions and is appealing for others to join them in supporting the charity’s work.

The charity is welcoming new people to join their highly dedicated shop volunteer team, which will provide valuable support to the local community and re-coup months of lost income due to COVID-19. 

The 18 shops across Harrow and Brent are a lifeline to the Hospice and rely heavily on volunteer staff. The Hospice has been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, and the charity must significantly increase its income to safeguard its vital services. All shops adhere to government guidelines in relation to hygiene and infection control to create a safe shopping experience for customers, staff and volunteers alike. 

The charity’s Head of Retail, Prabhakar Sundaresan, said: “A huge thank you to all our volunteers for the support they have given to St Luke’s. Our shops simply cannot run without the generosity of volunteers. Before COVID-19 we had over 600 shop volunteers, and less than half have been able to return since we reopened in April. We urgently need volunteers across all of our shops to continue to deliver our care.”

“This Volunteers’ Week, we’re inviting the community to join our shop teams to unite with us to help us overcome the biggest challenge we have faced. Without our hardworking, friendly, and caring volunteers, St Luke’s Hospice wouldn’t be able to offer all of the specialist care and support services to families. If you’re a student with some time to spare or you just want to keep busy, volunteering in one of our shops is extremely fulfilling.”

Shop volunteer roles are varied, and shifts are available to suit individual needs and commitments. Volunteers can get involved in a variety of tasks such as; sorting through donations, steaming clothes, arranging window displays, and promoting the work of the Hospice with the local community.

Volunteer opportunities are available at the St Luke’s shops in Burnt Oak, Harlesden, Harrow, North Harrow, Harrow Weald, Hatch End, Kenton, Kingsbury, Pinner, Preston Road, Rayners Lane, South Harrow, Stanmore, Wealdstone, Wembley and Willesden Green.

For more information about volunteering at St Luke’s Hospice shops or to register as a volunteer, please visit:

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