Eric’s story

Green-fingered Eric McCalla is dedicated to keeping our gardens in top shape for patients and visitors.

Eric spends hours every week brightening up the hospice gardens for the enjoyment of staff, visitors and their families and is as a key part of the hospice’s maintenance team.

“It’s amazing what a difference a tidy, well-maintained garden can make,” says Eric. “It’s nice to see the flowers coming up and seeing how much people like them.”

Eric began giving his time to John Taylor Hospice in July 2015, helping with a variety of garden projects from planting and pruning to digging and cleaning.

“It’s quite a big area really, stretching all around the hospice,” explains Eric. “So there’s always something to do.”

John Taylor Hospice

Eric made the decision to become a hospice volunteer in his early 50s after finding he had time to spare. And he chose John Taylor because the hospice cared for his mum Veneta before she died in 2012.

“As my daughter has grown up, there’s not been as much to do around the house and I wanted to give that extra time to volunteering,” Eric says. “My first thought was John Taylor Hospice – it makes me happy to be in a position to support them.

“It’s not until your life takes such as turn as to experience hospice care first-hand that you realise just how much they do. The staff at John Taylor do an excellent job looking after every single person with dignity and respect.

“They made sure my mum had everything she needed in any one moment in time and it wasn’t like they were just doing their job, either. They really do care.”

When it comes to the upkeep of the gardens, Eric leaves no stone unturned.

“I’d do anything to help out. Plus, it gets me out of the house and it feels good to do something for others. I look forward to my volunteer days very much.”

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