Vanessa Anthony has been one of our loyal supporters here at St Wilfrid’s for many years and has recently taken up a new role as a Hospice Ambassador.
Back in 2010 Vanessa's mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Previously her Nan received help from the Hospice at Home team, however her mum had never had the opportunity to visit St Wilfrid’s, so one day they both came along to one of the day hospice sessions and whilst her mum had a massage, Vanessa had a good look around.
Vanessa's mum was looked after by the Community Nursing team and sadly died in 2011 whilst she was in hospital. After her mum died, Vanessa decided to attend some counselling sessions with one of our Hospice counsellors. After a couple of months had passed, Vanessa decided she wanted to give back to the Hospice so the counsellor put her in touch with the fundraising team and she hasn't looked back since!
Her first volunteering role, back in 2011, was for the Santa sprint and stroll. Since then, Vanessa has taken part in most of the fundraising events - her entire family often taking part too.
Back in Spring, Vanessa read an article in the Hospice magazine about ward volunteers and decided she wanted to help St Wilfrid’s in this way. She has been a Ward Volunteer since March and has found the afternoon tea round so fulfilling.
A couple of months ago there was an appeal about a number of new roles which were available, such as Ambassador and Researcher roles.
There were two key reasons why Vanessa wanted to apply. Firstly, the Hospice plays such an important role to families at such a difficult time, and she knows first hand how vitally important this service is to families. Secondly, she felt it important that a variety of people represent the Hospice, as sadly terminal illnesses can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
The Ambassador role is a great opportunity to help spread the word about the Hospice and to reduce the taboo of talking about terminal illness and dying.
Thank you Vanessa for all of your continued support and for taking the time to share your experience with us. If after reading Vanessa’s story, you feel that you would like more information about the different volunteering roles here at St Wilfrid’s go to https://stwh.co.uk/volunteering or contact one of the team on 01243 775302.
If you like meeting new people and are able to spare some time to represent the Hospice, I would wholeheartedly suggest you get in touch with the Fundraising Team about the Ambassador role.