Tony's Story

Tony Truckle always wanted to be a school teacher and was all ready to start a course at Cheltenham Teacher Training College - that was, until he was called up for National Service, which put pay to his plans. After two years serving as a medic in the Royal Navy, his plans for the future changed and he embarked on a 22 year career in the Royal Military Police.

After leaving the forces, retirement finally came after a time spent working in London for a Barrister’s Chambers and a further 12 years as a primary school teaching assistant. With time on his hands, his wife suggested he approached the Hospice and offer his services.

Tony has two roles at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, as a Day Services volunteer and a Hospice Ambassador…

I find this role really uplifting and I like knowing I’m making a difference. It’s a pleasure and privilege to be able to tell people about St Wilfrid’s. For those who know it, it’s a vibrant, happy and uplifting place and so different to how people imagine.”

“I always arrive at the Day Hospice in good time before the patients and make sure that everything is ready for them. I put the newspapers out and make sure the kitchen is fully stocked and ready to go. There’s always plenty of tea and cake!


The main part of the role is to welcome the patients as they arrive and make them feel relaxed and comfortable. I’m always on hand for a chat or to make a cuppa whilst they wait for their treatments or physio. At lunchtime I help serve sandwiches… and cakes of course!  I really enjoy being able to talk with the patients and their loved ones and get to know them.

My other role is completely different, reaching out to the local community to increase awareness of our services and to highlight the importance of planning end of life care.

I am part of a team of Ambassadors and we go out into the community to deliver short presentations which provide a brief overview of the work of St Wilfrid’s and aim to encourage people to talk more easily about death and dying, something that’s difficult for all of us.

When I first became an Ambassador, I attended a full day of training which covered everything I needed for the role.  We have an Ambassador coordinator who contacts different groups, societies and companies to arrange new presentations. Once an appointment has been made, normally two ambassadors work together and go out and meet the group. The presentation takes around an hour which includes a short film followed by a short question and answer session, if they have time.

I find this role really uplifting and I like knowing I’m making a difference. It’s a pleasure and privilege to be able to tell people about St Wilfrid’s. For those who know it, it’s a vibrant, happy and uplifting place and so different to how people imagine.”

We are looking to spread the word to more and more people around the community so if you are involved in an organisation that may be interested in hosting a free of charge presentation from one of our Ambassadors, please contact Helen on 01243 755185 or email ambassador@stwh.co.uk.