I’ve volunteered as a Hospice Neighbour for nearly three years now. I feel it gives me a chance to make a difference for someone in my local community and I get a great sense of achievement knowing I can make someone’s day.
During my career I regularly visited Day Therapy, the In-patient unit and the Linden Centre and knew that when I retired I would like to volunteer for the Hospice. I wasn’t sure what role would suit me best but the Induction Programme helped guide me to the role of Hospice Neighbour.
The Hospice Neighbour role involves visiting patients in their own homes and providing practical support. Once a week I telephone at a pre-arranged time to confirm if a visit would be appreciated that day and ask if anything is needed. Sometimes we just spend time chatting over a brew, other times I’ve helped with little jobs, we do crafts and on occasions go out for a few hours.
I will never forget the day I took a young independent lady shopping. She was wheelchair bound and couldn’t leave her home unassisted. Seeing her face light up as she filled her own basket with her own shopping was all I could have hoped for. There was a tear in my eye as I walked home that day, knowing that a few hours of my time had made a difference.
Being a Hospice Neighbour works well for me as the role is very flexible and home visits can be arranged around my own commitments. I find being invited into someone’s home is a huge privilege and my time is always well spent.
I love volunteering for Trinity Hospice and feel very well supported by staff, other volunteers and my ‘buddy’.