“The hospice environment was not what I expected at all – I was scared to go there a little at first but everyone was so welcoming and friendly. It’s full of colour and all about the children enjoying themselves.”

Whether you’re looking to gain some experience and boost your CV, or you just want to donate your spare time between studying to support our amazing work, Shooting Star Chase has a special volunteering scheme for over 16s. And it may well lead to other things, like it did for one of our youth volunteers.

19-year-old Sam from Cranleigh wants to be a paediatric nurse and applied for the youth volunteering scheme at our Guildford-based hospice, Christopher’s.

“I wanted to get some experience of a paediatric nursing environment and, after an interview, I was offered a position as a kitchen assistant for two hours a week doing things like cleaning dishes, prepping food and laying tables. My time there was such a brilliant insight into what goes on in a children’s hospice.

“The dining room and kitchen is the heart of the building and all the families and staff gather there for lunch and dinner, and there’s always something going on like performances and fun days. I had an opportunity to interact with the children and see a range of conditions, and I really saw first-hand how amazing the staff are and how much the families benefit from their care and support.

“The hospice environment was not what I expected at all – I was scared to go there a little at first but everyone was so welcoming and friendly. It’s full of colour and all about the children enjoying themselves.”

But when Sam’s youth volunteering scheme was over, she didn’t want to stop volunteering and the leave a charity she had grown so fond of.

“I emailed the volunteering team at Shooting Star Chase when the scheme had finished and they offered me a part-time voluntary role in the charity’s new shop in Guildford. I jumped at the chance to continue donating my time for such a great charity and I’ve been spending Friday afternoons there ever since.

“I start my shift at 1pm and I can be doing anything – from taking in all sorts of new stock and merchandising, to helping customers and taking payments at the till. It’s a great place to work as all the staff and volunteers are really friendly, my suggestions are always taken on board, and you feel like you’re really making a difference by bringing in money for the charity. At the end of my shift at 5pm I help the manager tidy and lock up – and I’ll buy any bargains I’ve spotted, which is quite often!

“A lot of people ask me how I juggle studying health and social care at college, a part time job at a restaurant and volunteering for Shooting Star Chase – but it’s not like that. It’s really enjoyable and I’m helping make children’s lives as best as they can be. And I hope to continue volunteering for them when I go to uni to study nursing.”

Want to be apply for the Shooting Star Chase youth volunteering scheme? Get involved!