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Eileen Burrow from Morpeth started volunteering in November last year and here she tells us more about her experience so far:

“I worked in social work for many years and decided to take early retirement. At first I did some care work but it was ad hoc and I really wanted something more regular to fill my time, especially during the pandemic. When a work colleague mentioned to me that St Oswald’s needed more Lymphoedema Volunteers I was really keen to give it a go and I’m so pleased I did.

“I was already a supporter of the Hospice and had been for many years but I really didn’t know much about their Lymphoedema Service. Since joining as a volunteer I’ve learnt how great the service is and how important the care they provide is. The patients are all so appreciative of the treatment they receive and you can really see the difference it makes.

“I volunteer every Friday afternoon which has given me structure to my week and I absolutely love it! I really look forward to coming to the Hospice as there is never a dull moment and the role is so varied. My main duties include assisting a Specialist Practitioner both within clinics and on home visits, helping with anything they need such as making notes during assessments, removing bandages, chatting to patients and getting any supplies that are needed.

“St Oswald’s has such a lovely atmosphere and I always feel so welcome. It’s been nice to get to know the staff and some of the other volunteers. The team of volunteers are such a mix of ages and backgrounds so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being around young people who I wouldn’t normally chat to and work with.

“I would recommend this role to other people as it’s extremely rewarding being able to help patients and see the difference that is being made to their lives. I’ve particularly enjoyed being hands on and I’ve learnt new skills. The whole experience has made me think that I would have loved to have gone into nursing rather than social work. It’s too late now so I appreciate the little bit of experience I am getting from being a volunteer.

“The nursing team are all amazing, they provide such a wonderful service and it’s so rewarding to know that I’m able to support them in their role. Even though I started volunteering during a pandemic I’ve always felt extremely safe, the Hospice goes above and beyond to make sure this is the case.”

Huge thank you to Eileen for sharing her story and all she does for our Lymphoedema Team.