Home > News > A fond farewell to our oldest volunteer, Nan

Nan Cresey from High Heaton has been volunteering at the Hospice for over 33 years and even returned to her most recent role of Volunteer Receptionist in December last year between national lockdowns

Nan joined us as a Volunteer Nurse not long after we first opened our doors in 1986 and since then she has also been a Ward Helper and when the work became too strenuous for her she switched to work on main reception.

Nan said:

“I qualified as a Nurse when I was 23 and then worked as a general nurse, midwife and health visitor throughout my career, all based in Newcastle. When I retired I still wanted to do something in health care and as the Hospice had just opened I thought my skills would be put to good use.

“I’ve always volunteered once a week, on a Thursday, and the Hospice has been a big part of my life for all these years. When I first joined I never thought I’d still be volunteering into my nineties but I always say St Oswald’s has claws – once you’re gripped you can’t get away!

“Leaving after all these years has been a real struggle for me, Covid made the decision for me really and gave me the push to ‘retire’ – if it hadn’t been for the pandemic and the fact I’m staying at home I probably would have continued to volunteer for longer.

“I already miss the Hospice very much, I loved feeling useful and having contact with people. I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in all three roles and the fact I was helping people was so rewarding. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time at St Oswald’s and part of me will always be there in spirit.

When asked about how the Hospice has changed during Nan’s volunteering years, she said:

“The organisation has grown and they now have more services than they did when they first opened but the core of what they do it still exactly the same – they are always there for people when they are needed – this will always stay the same and this is why I volunteered for so long.”

Laura Lowther, Volunteering Development Manager said:

“It’s really inspiring to hear of Nan’s extraordinary contribution as a volunteer, especially her determination and generosity over the last year. What a phenomenal woman!”