“I worked in palliative care my whole working life. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding career. Although the work is very hard, you meet so many amazing patients and families. Just doing something to help them at a very difficult time gives you such a sense of satisfaction.
“I retired in 2012 to look after my mother who was ill. After we sadly lost her, I was looking for a way to get into volunteering that would use my skills and experience.
“I first volunteered as a Herts Neighbour with Peace Hospice Care. I would support patients in their own homes by either keeping them company at home or taking them to things like hospital appointments or to do some shopping. I really enjoyed getting to know both the patients and the people around them. Caring for a loved one can be all-consuming so I was pleased to be able to give relatives and carers a bit of time to focus on something else while they knew their loved one was being supported.”
“From all my voluntary experience I can definitely say that I get more out of volunteering than I put in. The sense of satisfaction and reward that I get out of supporting a patient and their family at a difficult time in their life is worth much more than the hour or two that I put into it each week.”
“I enjoyed doing this role for around six years and met some wonderful people during that time.”
“I then moved house and wasn’t within easy reach of Peace Hospice Care patients so I got in touch with Rennie Grove about volunteering closer to home. I was familiar with the organisation because during my working life I had been one of the founding nurses who established Iain Rennie Hospice at Home.
“I met the volunteering team and decided that Supporting Hands would be the best fit for me. I volunteer for an hour or so per week, to offer support and company to patients in their own home. Often the people I support are quite unwell so having the company of a Supporting Hands volunteer gives their carer the confidence to go out or focus on other things in the time that I’m there.
“All of the people I have volunteered with through Supporting Hands have been relatively local to me and I have really enjoyed spending time getting to know them.”
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