Our Volunteers serving customers in the Comfort Zone Café
Volunteering is a fantastic way of meeting people. Working within the sensitive environment of a busy hospital is a challenge, and one that many of our volunteers enjoy. As an equal opportunity employer we offer scope for disabled people to contribute to our success. At present, we have volunteers aged from 16 to 80 years old with a range of mixed abilities. Our aim is to find a place for each volunteer that will be of interest to them and to help develop their confidence in order to help us.
The Comfort Zone shop and Cafe is fully staffed by our employees and volunteers. Volunteers work on a rota basis normally 2 to 3 hours per week or fortnight within the opening times (9.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday; 10.30 am - 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday). We reimburse all travel expenses volunteer workers incur and provide them with a meal at minimal charge. All hot drinks are free whilst on duty.
Our volunteers also take part in:
Each year the volunteers and the employees of the Comfort Zone enjoy a Christmas dinner at Chester Castle, which is funded by the Childbirth Appeal, Co. Ltd.
Chester Volunteer Centre, under the direction of Mrs Carol Berry, organizes an Award ceremony each year for all volunteers who have completed 100 hours work in the preceding year for their respective charities. They are invited to this ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Chester. This is usually held at the Town Hall and includes entertainment and a buffet, and there they are presented with their Award certificate by the Lord Mayor.
I have been a volunteer working for the Childbirth Appeal since its inception 10 years ago. It has been so rewarding seeing the great improvements that have taken place. Everyone is so friendly and sociable which makes it a joy to be part of such a valuable project.
Volunteer: Sandra Davies
Having retired 27 years ago I was not at home long before I had a telephone call asking me if I would like to be a volunteer. So here I am every Wednesday afternoon along with volunteers who have become very good friends and of course, all the lovely staff, of whom I am very fond. I like to knit at least two baby garments a week, while my fingers will let me.
Volunteer: Dotty Dixon
I have been a volunteer in the Comfort Zone cafe for 3 years now and enjoy every minute. It is a pleasure and a privilege to meet and greet our customers and serve them some of our delicious food. I first saw the cafe 6 years ago when my daughter's twin sons were born in the hospital. When my husband and I moved up from London to live here I knew exactly where I wanted to help out. From the start I was impressed with the whole set up of the Comfort Cafe - from the pleasant seating area which includes a popular courtyard garden to the very attractive shop itself. The cafe is run superbly by the Manager and every member of staff is friendly and helpful to both the volunteers and the customers. I am part of a very large team of volunteers, some of whom have been helping out for many years and I hope to continue to be so for as long as possible in support of such a worthwhile cause.
Volunteer: Sylvia Turner
As a volunteer of 10 years I have been very happy working in the Comfort Zone shop along with a great team of volunteers. Our efforts in the shop ensure that money raised helps mothers and babies have a more comfortable home-like and less clinical time during their stay. The shop and cafe caters for all ages, whether patients, nursing staff or visitors. All are made welcome. I would like to say, to me, it seems like a big friendly family.
As a volunteer at the Comfort Zone and seen it grow from a handful of volunteers to the thriving and successful cafe/shop it is today I feel a great sense of pride. Knowing you have contributed in some small way to the many achievements of the Charity to date is very rewarding indeed.
Volunteer: Barbara Womack
I have been a volunteer for a good number of years and look forward to going to the Comfort Zone every week. I find everyone so nice and friendly - they always have time for you. I am one of the 'sweet' ladies and bag sweets up for the children - a very rewarding job.
For the past 15 years I have been a volunteer with the Chester Childbirth Appeal. It has been a worthwhile experience. Not only have I enjoyed working closely with the Secretary of the Appeal, I have had the opportunity of meeting and communicating with people from many different walks of life. In many ways it has been fun, especially when fund raising - even when it rains! The people I work with have become friends and I look forward to meeting them from time to time. Having spent time in hospitals, as most of us do at some time in our lives, I feel that I have given something back for treatments I have received - what could be more rewarding.
Volunteer: Rita Kurz
As a volunteer of almost 3 years I do enjoy being with the girls. They are pleasant and very friendly - we never have a dull moment. I had my moment in June 2008 meeting the Mayor of Chester at the presentation. The Christmas party has always been an evening to remember, not to mention the company and the excellent meal.
Volunteer: Sheila Shone
All our volunteers take part in a number of organised fundraising events, along with the wonderful support from people taking part in the London Marathon, The Great North Run, the Chester Half Marathon and the Farndon 10K Run.
The Childbirth Appeal serves an area within a 20 miles radius from the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with all its diverse health care needs. The Childbirth Appeal identifies the need to upgrade the facilities available to the Maternity patients and children's needs and aims to provide support over and above that provided by the NHS.
Under the leadership of a retired health care professional we have identified the patients' wishes through questionnaires and interviews The Chester Childbirth Appeal is a totally voluntary organisation, helping us keep overheads to a minimum. Please tell your friends, family and neighbours about our achievements at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Would you like to support us?