Meeting his footballing hero has made an indelible mark on one young adult at St Oswald’s Hospice – quite literallyRead More
Kathy is one of our wonderful Ward Helpers – and has volunteered with us for an incredible 25 years. We caught up with her recently in a Q&A…
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I enjoy my role because it’s purposeful. I can see an immediate benefit from the help I provide. By doing something relatively simple, such as serving refreshments to our patients, the care staff have more time to focus on their roles. There’s also a lovely atmosphere, with a real sense of family and community. I enjoy chatting with the patients and have made friendships with the other volunteers too. I’ve even made a lifelong friend!
What’s your favourite memory of volunteering?
Meeting Peter, another ward volunteer. The fact that we’ve worked the same shift for the past 25 years is just amazing. It’s also great when we have sixth form students volunteering alongside us. I’m still in touch with a couple who volunteered 5 or 6 years ago, which is really special. They’ve both got careers in medicine and healthcare now. It’s lovely to have been part of their journey.
Finally, the nursing staff. Every single one of them provides the highest level of care and does it with a smile – sometimes under very difficult circumstances.
We heard you’ve recently received your 25-year badge! How does that feel?
Fantastic! 25 years has gone so fast. I remember when I first decided to start volunteering – and here I still am. It’s great to be recognised and I feel honoured to have received my badge. The most special thing I’ve taken away from this experience is the bond I’ve made with Peter. We’ve kept each other going.
Could you sum up hospice care in three words?
Special, valuable and wonderful.
I have personal experience of hospice care as my mum was cared for at home by a palliative care team. As people say, hospice nurses are “angels”. You can’t describe how they make you feel when your relative is dying. To know that your loved one is being cared for so intently, instantly puts you at ease. The feelings I got when my mum was being cared for, are the same I get when I come to St Oswald’s Hospice. I know the patients are truly being looked after.
Because I work with the catering team, I also see how the kitchen staff makes a difference, too. They spend time chatting to the patients about their dietary requirements and they’ll go above and beyond for a patient and their needs. That goes for the whole of the Hospice. It’s a place that really does embody individualised, holistic and medical care.
We’d like to say a supersized thank you to Kathy and all of our wonderful volunteers – no matter what team you work in, or how often you volunteer. You’re so important to us in helping to achieve ‘Quality time for everyone’.
Want to share your skills as a volunteer? Great!
You can email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit our website to explore current opportunities by clicking here!