BARNSLEY Hospice has put out an urgent call for volunteers and is looking to recruit people to help with driving and reception duties.

The hospice - which has ten beds to provide free care for in-patients and has day care in the Limes Unit - already has 400 volunteers who help with everything from manning the shops to fund-raising. Volunteer services manager Barbara Cronin said volunteers gave 57,134 hours to the hospice last year. She said: “Some people regularly give many hours of their time and others just help out occasionally, but all play a valuable role.” Mavis Clayton, 66, a retired shop assistant from Higham, volunteers in the hospice’s Eldon Street shop five days a week. Her husband Barry sadly died in a hospice in 1999 and she wanted to give something back. Former headteacher and education consultant Sue Stokes, 60, of Royston, is involved in training and fund-raising at the hospice. She said: “Part of my role is giving talks about the hospice to make people aware of the range of services offered here. It’s so much more than a place for people to come to die.” It costs over £8,000 a day to run the hospice, which has to raise £1.9m a year to stay open. It urgently needs a team of volunteer drivers, with their own cars, who can transport patients to and from Gawber. Mileage is paid. Anyone interested should email barbara.cronin@barnsley-hospice.org.