On Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice will be taking over the city to help raise bucket-loads of money for its annual Big Brum Bucket Collection. Every year, hundreds of volunteers take to the streets of Birmingham to help collect vital funds, allowing us to support even more local families living with terminal illness.  

Yvonne Nordass, a 21-year-old law student at the University of Birmingham, is just one of our many fantastic bucketeers who collected money across our city last year. Here, she tells us why she got involved and shares her top tips for anyone that is taking part for the first time this September.

I thoroughly enjoyed bucketeering for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – not only was it simple to do but it was so inspiring to meet new people and hear their incredibly moving stories.

I first thought about becoming a bucketeer after someone very close to me received end of life care at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit. The care they received was full of compassion and kindness and I really valued the support that was provided by the doctors, nurses and staff.

That’s why I decided to bucket collect for Birmingham St Mary’s – as a way of giving back to the Hospice. To me, bucket collecting seemed like a really enjoyable and easy way to help out, as well as allowing me to be as flexible as I wanted with my time.  

Last year, I spent four hours across one day collecting money in New Street Station and, although I signed up on my own, I soon met lots of other people who were also bucketeering. Whilst it was really touching to hear their stories, we also had a lot of fun chatting to the general public and rallying up support together.

It may feel nerve-racking to approach people at first but honestly, the public were brilliant. Everyone seemed to know who Birmingham St Mary’s were and they were always very kind and generous when I went up to them.

I’ll never forget when one particular woman came up to me and shared her personal story about the Hospice. Her daughter had received care at Birmingham St Mary’s and it was incredibly moving to hear how much the Hospice had looked after her and her family during that difficult time. Hearing other peoples’ stories like that makes it all worthwhile – it gives bucketeering so much meaning and is a reminder to why supporting your local Hospice is important.

For anyone that is signed up to take part this year – or is still thinking about it – my main advice is to just go for it! A top tip is to smile and be positive – it may sound simple but it really does help generate a great reaction from the general public. I completely enjoyed the whole experience and would definitely recommend getting involved.  

Last year, the Big Brum Bucket Collection raised over £7,000, making a big difference to local families living with terminal illness. However, this year, we want it to be even bigger and better and so we’re looking for even more bucketeers, like Yvonne, to get involved. If you can spare just a few hours of your time, why not sign up here and help us to keep helping others.