A FEW weeks ago I enjoyed a fantastic evening at Blenheim Palace to celebrate 25 years of Katharine House Hospice.

For 25 years, Katharine House has provided specialist palliative care for adults with life-limiting conditions, supporting families and helping people access the help they need.

We heard from Jo, whose husband Al received wonderful care as he died so soon after the birth of their daughter.

The hospice care sector supports more than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions in the UK every year, with more than 125,000 people giving their time to volunteer.

Charities rely heavily on the support of their dedicated volunteers.

Giving time is often as important as money, and before I was elected I really loved getting stuck into starting and raising money for charities.

I am particularly pleased with the progress of NORPIP, which supports parents who are struggling to form a secure attachment with their babies, and I set up and chaired the Benefactors Board for Children’s Services across our hospitals trust.

I am lucky that, by the time I was elected, I had seen many of the organisations with which I now deal from another angle, though I confess I am not keen to abseil down the side of the women’s centre again soon!

In 2015 I started Singing for Syrians which, through the Hands Up Foundation, provides medical and educational help for those affected by the civil war in Syria.

We encourage individuals, bands, choirs, schools and churches across the UK to raise the roof and as much money as possible by holding a singing event.

Every Christmas I organise a flagship event in London but we have concerts throughout the year; there is one in Dorchester Abbey on May 19.

As we move into the eighth year of the civil war, our help is needed more than ever, and it is impossible not to admire the Syrian medical staff we pay, who continue to work in dangerous and horrific conditions

One of the parts of my job I enjoy most is supporting as many local charities as possible, whether that be with opening an event, donating prizes or promoting their work wherever possible.

I often try to connect people with skills with charities with needs.

I have enjoyed working with charities such as Oxfordshire MIND, Assisted Reading for Children and Restore.

These are just three charities in our area but there are so many more.

If you have time to get involved, do consider looking at volunteering.oxfordshire.gov.uk