Continuing Hospice Care Week, we highlight the value of specialist palliative and end of life care. Another vital part of our hospices are our volunteers. From helping at our fundraising events, to making a cup of tea and providing a listening ear, we would not be able to provide our services without them.
One of our fantastic volunteers Jane shares what makes her #ProudToBe a part of our hospices.
Jane learnt about John Taylor Hospice’s impact first-hand, as her mother-in-law was cared for by the team at the end of her life. Jane says: “We availed ourselves of the hospice’s services. They didn’t just support my mother-in-law, they supported the whole family. The care was exceptional.”
Jane was so grateful for the support the hospice care teams provided to her family that she was determined to return the kindness they showed to her.
She adds: “At the time I had a young family and was working, but I promised myself that when I was able to do so I would give something back. In 2011, after I retired, I received a flyer saying that John Taylor Hospice was seeking volunteers, so I arranged to go in for a chat with the team.
“I didn’t have any specialist skills, but I am a good talker and a good listener, so I volunteered as a ‘socialiser’ at The Living Well Centre. Then I was asked if I would help out at the FAB Clinic making hot drinks and having a chat with patients and that’s what I have done ever since.”
The FAB (Fatigue, Anxiety and Breathlessness) Programme consists of nine two-hour sessions and is designed to help people with severe respiratory conditions take back control of their breathing, improve confidence, maintain independence and manage anxiety.
“The team who run the clinic make such a difference to these people’s lives,” adds Jane. “I just make the tea and I am there to listen, but it is so uplifting. Sometimes I have bad days, but then I realise how lucky I am, how much I am able to do and I remember what a fortunate person I am.
“I have had a lot of benefit from volunteering, I really have seen another side of life.”
“The hospice really is a wonderful place, and all of the people who work here do such a tremendous job – I call them angels without wings. Unless you have faced it yourself, you don’t know what to expect at a hospice, you might think it’s a sad place, full of doom and gloom – but it’s totally the opposite.”
“If you or someone you know is thinking about volunteering at the hospice, I would say give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t come away feeling like you have accomplished something I would be amazed. My experience has completely changed my outlook on life.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story Jane; and for your years of dedication and support to John Taylor Hospice. If you would like to know more about volunteering opportunities visit https://www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-for-us/