How often do you volunteer at the Hospice? How many times a week?
I usually volunteer on a Tuesday afternoon with the Care Team but I do extra days when needed if I can.
Why did you start volunteering?
I started volunteering 5 and a half years ago, after losing my mum. I felt I wanted to be a part of something, to give something back, but I wasn't sure what, then one day I saw an ad in our local paper about the Donna Louise needing volunteers so I came to the interviews and was smitten. I knew it was what I wanted. I knew it was so worthwhile, so necessary for these special children and their families. It opened my eyes to how life for the families was a constant struggle and I felt humbled. I realised what a wonderful place this Hospice was not just for the poorly child but for the whole family. It gives them so much help in so many directions it's amazing. I felt my mum was smiling down on me as she adored children.
My husband started About 11 years ago, working in the garden and checking all the electrical points in the hospice. The lady I was ironing with said she was leaving so Dave started doing that with me. He also helps with fundraising and also anything else we are asked to do.
What do you enjoy about working at the Donna Louise?
I really enjoy being a part of the team and interacting with the children and their families. I love doing painting and crafts and anything creative with the kids, however I get to play football and other things too! It gives me a lot of satisfaction and I always go home feeling happy. I have made a lot of friends here, we volunteers know each other very well thanks to Sabryna who brings us together socially she does a great job. I have always been made to feel welcome and the staff are always showing their gratitude for us volunteers.
How old are you?
I’m an immature 71 yrs old.
Do you volunteer alongside another job?
No other job, I’m retired now.
What activities to you support regularly at the hospice?
Apart from helping the care team I also help out on pamper days which is a special treat day for the mums. On memory day I help to look after siblings while their families attend a special service for a child who has passed. I help with any new volunteer sessions and any times Sabryna needs help I come if I can. I also help a bit with fundraising by getting prizes donated for tombolas etc. I also do a lucky dip at the Christmas fayre every year and have to start getting things together now as the kids love it.