EVERY year volunteers donate more than 45,000 hours of their time to Cotswold Care Hospice.

Many were guests of honour at a special tea party as the charity paid tribute to their efforts.

More than 60 volunteers attended the event at the hospice in Minchinhampton.

Keith Bates, from Stroud, has been helping in the art room of the hospice for the past eight years.

"A friend of mine had cancer and did some painting here so I decided to come and volunteer," she said.

"I enjoy meeting people and seeing people who have never done art before getting hooked."

Mary Chancellor, from Wotton-under-Edge, a trained aromatherapist, has been volunteering at the charity for four years.

"I simply love it here," she said.

Volunteers work in a variety of roles including in the charity's shops, at the hospice, in administration and at fund raising events.

Jules Eaton, chief executive of Cotswold Care Hospice, paid tribute to the volunteers.

"We couldn't even contemplate doing what we do without you.
Not only do you provide countless hours of support but you bring something that money can't buy, you always make people feel so welcome."

To find out more about volunteering contact Suzi McDonnell, volunteer co-ordinator at Cotswold Care Hospice, on 01453 733700 or email suzie.mcdonnell@cotswoldcare.org.uk