Eileen's story

As #VolunteersWeek draws to a close we’d like to introduce you to another one of our amazing volunteers. Today meet Eileen Merryweather, who has been a volunteer at the Hospice for over nine years. Like many of our volunteers, due to Covid-19 Eileen was unable to volunteer for a few months but is now pleased to be back (as we are to have her back!). Read Eileen’s story here:

“Back in 1987 when the Hospice had just opened my Mum died on the Inpatient Unit, so I saw first-hand the care she received and I knew once I retired I wanted to give something back by volunteering.

“When I first joined St Oswald’s Hospice as a volunteer I started in the gift shop, then moved to a kitchen helper before I got arthritis in my hands. I then changed to taking the lunch money in the dining room, where I have volunteered for a few years, along with volunteering in the finance office.

“When the pandemic hit I was devastated that I couldn’t volunteer and I missed it so much. Me and my husband Jimmy also used to volunteer at events like Light Up a Life and the Christmas Market and neither of those were possible last year – we used to love dressing up as Minions and selling mulled wine!

“Initially when we were able to volunteer again I felt quite nervous so only returned for a few weeks at first. My managers kept in touch to see how I was doing. Once I received the vaccine things changed and I got some confidence back so I now go in every other week and I’m so pleased to be back.

“Volunteering is very rewarding and it’s kept me sane! I’d say if you have some spare time definitely volunteer – you get so much back. It’s a special atmosphere at the Hospice, it’s a place of peace, love and helpful people and there’s always lots of laughter.

As today marks the end of Volunteers’ Week we’d like to say a final HUGE thank you to all of amazing volunteers who give so much time, energy and skills in all aspects of our work.

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