It is national Volunteers’ Week, and we are taking the opportunity to say a big *Thank You* to all of our amazing volunteers. We have over a thousand volunteers helping out at the Hospice, at events, in our shops and in and around the community.
To celebrate the work of our helpers, we are featuring a series of stories about our invaluable volunteers. Today, it is the turn of our Day Hospice volunteer Peter.
Why did you volunteer?
“Before joining the St Peter’s Hospice team I had been a volunteer at a children’s hospice and my parents also suffered with cancer. I am of an age when I want to give something back. Working in the children’s hospice provided the impetus for volunteering as I have found so much empathy with those with a short time to live.”
How have you benefited?
“I have found that helping other people helps to put my own problems into perspective and feel grateful for what I have got. Volunteer work has helped me through difficult times, taking my mind off personal problems.
The Hospice is not a gloomy place to work as the environment is so cheerful. I get more from being a volunteer than the patients do. It’s very satisfying – that’s the thing about giving.”
What challenges have you faced?
“I found the biggest challenge to be saying the right things at the right time when a patient can be suffering pain, anger or sorrow. This can be even more sensitive when dealing with family and friends.”
“Anyone who has the time should go for it now, and not hold back. The rewards will outweigh any concerns, the Hospice is such a happy place and you can tailor what you take on to suit yourself. Just don’t take on too much too soon – ease yourself in.”hat would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?