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Is 2020 When You Volunteer With St Catherine’s Hospice?

Is 2020 When You Volunteer With St Catherine’s Hospice?

Have you set yourself a new year’s resolution? If you plan to, but yet to decide on what change you will make in 2020, consider volunteering for charity. Volunteering has been shown to improve the wellbeing of the volunteer, as well as helping others – it is human nature to feel good after helping someone – one St Catherine’s Hospice volunteer shares their story of making a difference.

Hospices provide important physical and emotional care to terminally ill people and their family and friends, and Crawley-based St Catherine’s Hospice is no exception, but to do this, hospices need the support of people in the community, and importantly volunteers giving their time.

Ros Simmonds, who has volunteered for St Catherine’s Hospice for more than seven years, explains why she volunteers for the hospice, she says: “I’d always wanted to do something for charity and I liked the idea of making a difference to people facing the end of their life. When I first started volunteering, I helped in the hospice coffee shop, but I was keen to have more interaction with patients. So, when a ward volunteering role was created, I moved into doing that.

Ros began by serving supper, before moving onto giving patients hand massages as part of the therapies team, she gives patients who request one, a hand massage, she adds due to her tactile nature, she feels she can connect with others easily.

“Some people fall asleep while I’m doing their hand massages then apologise afterwards but it’s a compliment that I’ve managed to relax them so much! Other people chat while I’m with them. People tell me about their family, their work life, and the things they’ve done. It’s important to remember that everyone has a life behind their illness and I really enjoy hearing about it. Each person has their own stories and experiences; they’re not just a person in a bed” Ros adds.

Ros says she loves volunteering at St Catherine’s, likening it to being part of large family, and the role gives her a feeling of being appreciated. She adds, that volunteering has filled a gap for her and given her an opportunity to show care and love to others in her community.

Sam Farr, ward matron at St Catherine’s Hospice, who works alongside volunteers says of the vital contribution of volunteers: “Since joining the hospice I’ve been amazed. As an experienced nurse I’ve spent years caring for adults and children in different settings, always doing all I could to ease their suffering. But here at St Catherine’s I’ve seen care that goes beyond anything I’ve seen before. The kind of dedicated care everyone deserves at the end of their life. So, it breaks my heart that we can’t always provide this care at the time it’s needed most.”

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