I’ve been volunteering at the hospice for over a year now and it’s incredibly rewarding. My day starts off by picking up patients from their homes, it’s fulfilling knowing that when you turn up to collect someone, it’s going to give them the chance to get out and meet other people in similar situations and give their family or carer some respite. It doesn’t take much time out of my day, but I know it means the world to the people who need help getting to the hospice.
After collecting the patients, we all travel to the hospice where I join the rest of the Day Care team. The Day Hospice is an amazing place to volunteer and I’ve always felt an integral part of the team, right from the word go. The staff and volunteers have all got their roles to play and we just come in and get going with our daily tasks, like making drinks. It’s very important that we provide them with their teas, coffees, water and the other things they want and, because many of them can’t move unaided, so can’t make drinks themselves. Plus, we want to spoil them!
Volunteering at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has changed how I feel every day. Every volunteer you talk to will say that being here really helps to keep you grounded. It makes you evaluate and put life into perspective, so for me that’s one of the personal benefits. I love coming here and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s such an important place to give your time to and in return it is truly rewarding knowing you are playing a part in helping local people and their families.
In March the Day Hospice sadly had to temporarily close its doors due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has meant my role as a volunteer has changed dramatically, but fundamentally I am still helping to care for the patients when they are at their most vulnerable in isolation. I currently support five patients, this could be a phone call to check they are safe and to reassure them that the charity is here for them. I also ensure any medical needs are passed to the nursing team and on occasions I have dropped off essentials because we are their lifeline in these difficult times.
The patients we care for are so grateful for the support they receive; they feel like we are the only people who have been thinking of them. I recently spoke to a patient who said to me “nobody but Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has helped me over the past few weeks”. This is tough to hear but it’s the reason why I volunteer, knowing how much the patients appreciate the calls and how vital Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is in the local community.