I have a two volunteering roles at the Hospice. I am a Hospice Ambassador and I also volunteer on the Inpatient Ward.
I come from a background in advertising and up until I joined the Hospice team I feel that I have had a very selfish career. My children are grown up and now I have more time on my hands I made the decision to volunteer, and being a real 'people person' I knew it had to be where I would be involved with people on a daily basis. One of my friends mentioned St Wilfrid’s Hospice to me, so I came along to look around and decided on the spot that I wanted to volunteer here.
My Ward Volunteer role involves serving pre-dinner drinks and lunch plus teas and coffees to patients and visitors. I had absolutely no experience of anything to do with end of life care, life limiting illnesses or dying. I think I under estimated how much working at the hospice would affect me and I felt completely out of my depth at the beginning. It took me a good few weeks to get used to my new role but with the help from my friends and the team here, I began to adjust and really enjoy it.
One of my dearest moments in the Hospice was of a gentleman I visited to see if he wanted anything to drink. He was very poorly but still had his sense of humour. He asked me if I could get him “the love of a good woman!”. It was the first time I felt truly at home at the Hospice and felt 100% relaxed with one of the patients. This is one of the most treasured memories of my time spent here.
My other role with the Hospice is that of a Hospice Ambassador. In this role I go out and visit different groups of people, for example the Women’s Institute or the Rotary Club and let them know about the hospice and the services that we provide. I enjoy this part of the work, speaking to different kinds of people and spreading the word of the great work the Hospice does.
More recently I have undertaken the narrative for our volunteering video as in my previous career I spent some time as a voice-over artist. The Hospice really does try to utilise their volunteer’s skills.
I really love what I do now and hope to get better and better at it.