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Janet and John Groom

“I’ve been a stormtrooper, Princess Leia, Olaf, Norburn the Hospice mascot, and a Xmas Pudding.”

From supporting people completing challenges with words of encouragement (and high fives) to donning fancy dress to help raise funds, Janet and John Groom, who have given their time to St Nic’s for the past 15 years, have become regular fixtures at many fundraising events.

Janet explains: “I’m not a nurse, but have, for the majority of my working career, been associated with admin work within NHS.

“I don’t really think of myself as a volunteer – more of a happy helper.

“As a very grateful and thankful cancer survivor. I decided, once able, to volunteer for the Fundraising Team. There are so many opportunities and such a warmth of friendship.

“I really do feel like volunteering for the Hospice is like being part of an extended family, and I would encourage anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer to just give it a go.”

Over the years, both Janet and John have given their time to many events, and to celebrate her 60th birthday, Janet had a birthday fundraiser instead of gifts.

“We’ve also marshalled at events which have seen us high-five 100s of fellow supporters, and we’ve been ‘Bucketeers’. John has embraced everything too, and we’re a twosome at numerous events and proud to represent the Hospice as volunteers,” says Janet.

“The Hospice is a lovely, warm place.”

As well as supporting fundraising events in the community, the pair also visit the Hospice; with Janet having previously supported the charity’s fundraising team with her administration skills, they are both happy to help out when preparations for some of our larger fundraising events are in full swing.

Janet said: “The Hospice is a lovely, warm place,” she adds.

And John agrees, describing the Hospice as “a happy place with a warm and welcoming environment.”

Taking the leap for her 70th birthday

To celebrate her 70th birthday in 2021, Janet decided to take the plunge for St Nic’s and signed herself up for our Skydive Day.

Janet decided she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and try to raise funds while trying something different.

Which she did, raising more than £1,800.

After her leap, Janet said, “I can’t explain how glad I am that I did it. It was just awesome. It was such an experience. I enjoyed it so much.

“Even though Covid-19 restrictions were in place, my family could all come and watch me do it. They really were part of it, and I did feel their pride as I landed, and with everything else going on, it was great to be able to do something.

“I felt completely safe the whole time; everything was as it needed to be, and I just had so much confidence in the instructors and the person I was attached to. They did the hard work, and I could enjoy the experience.

“Since my skydive, I’ve celebrated my 70th birthday, so age really isn’t a barrier. My advice to anybody would be to do it, do it and enjoy it.”

Part of a historic event

John was part of a historic event when he was part of the torch relay commemorating the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

On May 17, 2022, a group of staff and volunteers gathered to wave John off as he set off in the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw from the Hospice to complete his part of the relay.

Making good friends along the way

Both Janet and John agree that one of the things they have enjoyed most about giving their time to the Hospice is the good friends they have made along the way.

John said: “There have been some lovely lunches and private gardens which we’ve attended in volunteering roles.”

“We’ve met some fantastic people that support the Hospice, shared stories, experiences and laughter. And given warm hugs when needed,” adds Janet.

Do you have a story about your connection with St Nicholas Hospice Care?

In our 40th year celebration, we want to highlight the many contributions in our Hospice’s history.

We’re aiming to proudly feature 40 faces across the year, could you be someone who has a story to share?

If you are someone who has a fond memory to share, you can do so here.