CHILDREN singing carols, festive jumpers and Christmas crackers helped say thank you to dedicated volunteers.
The Rowans Hospice held its annual volunteers party yesterday to thank the men and women who give their time freely.
With events happening all week, the first of four saw pupils from Padnell Junior School entertain the group with carols.
While the children were singing, a slideshow of the volunteers dressed in Father Christmas hats and with tinsel in their hair was shown.
Martin Chivers has been volunteering for The Rowans for eight years.
He said: ‘I do a lot of volunteering and the party is a nice way to say a big thank you.
Without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to operate in the way we doCarol Milner
‘It is a way to highlight all the effort we put in and it shows just how much the hospice appreciates us.
‘We do a range of things from passenger transportation to home visits.
‘This is a nice way to get together and speak to other volunteers and some good ideas come out of it. It is wonderful.’
Speaking of the choir, Martin added: ‘The children were brilliant. You cannot beat a children’s choir.’
Katie Pinhorne, head of Year 6 at Padnell Junior School in Waterlooville, said it was great for the children to get involved in community events.
They sang several carols including We Three Kings, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and It Was on a Starry Night.
Mrs Pinhorne said: ‘The Rowans contacted us and asked if we wanted to sing. I picked a group of the Year 6 pupils and we chose songs we sing in assembly.
‘We didn’t have time to do a rehearsal but they were very good.’
Today, the volunteers party will have a visit by the Kings Theatre pantomime stars who are performing in Jack and the Beanstalk.
Carol Milner, director of people’s services at The Rowans in Purbrook, said: ‘We have about 800 to 900 volunteers that we like to say thank you to every year.
‘We hold four parties so there are times to suit everyone.
‘Without the volunteers we wouldn’t be able to operate in the way we do. They give so much to us.’