“I retired from work at the tender age of 52 and although I didn’t want to have another full time job with all it’s commitments, I knew that I had to find something else to do that had purpose, kept the old brain ticking over and gave me the opportunity to meet new people, with the flexibility of just working one or two days a week.
“I first heard about St Oswald’s through a lady who ran a club of which I was a member. Each week the raffle’s proceeds were donated to the Hospice. St Oswald’s was very new back then, perhaps even just in the process of being built. I thought it would be the kind of thing I would like to do when I eventually retired.
“When that day did come, I soon started volunteering. It was definitely the right choice because now, almost 25 years later, I’m still turning up each week – or was until Covid 19 struck. Being ‘old’ (when did that happen?!) I was unable to volunteer during lockdown but I’ve been back at the Hospice for a few weeks now and after six months away it was a wonderful feeling to have that little bit of normality return to my life. I’ve been welcomed by staff happy to see me again and it’s been lovely to catch up with them and all their news.”
“I currently work in the Transport Office but having been at the Hospice for so long I’ve had many roles over the years. I’ve always been a Volunteer Driver but decided early on that instead of making two journeys to Day Hospice each day I would fill the time in volunteering in another role. I’ve been in Fundraising, Lottery, Comms, L&D, Medical Secretaries, Retail and Lymphoedema, some for only brief periods and some for longer, but all with a sense of satisfaction and achievement, working with like-minded people.
“I’ve made some lovely friends, who I normally meet socially outside of the Hospice and I have nothing but admiration for the patients I’ve met over the years. Their bravery, humour, kindness to each other and appreciation of our services makes volunteering worthwhile. The sound of laughter coming from the Craft Room always makes me smile and I have happy memories of many of the patients who are no longer with us.
“The Hospice was fairly small when I started, I knew most people by name and to see it achieve, grow and flourish through hard work and experience has been amazing. I’m proud to be part of it.”