Carol has worked as a Spiritual Care Volunteer here at the hospice for over 4 years and her passion for the role which enables her to have such an impact on patients and their families is clear to see.
We sat down with Carol and asked her several questions about volunteering:
What is your volunteer role at the hospice, and can you explain to people what you do?
My role is a listening ear as part of the family support team. I am involved in face to face counselling with patients and their families, if they want to chat. It really is a privileged position to be in.
How did you start volunteering with EVH?
I’ve been volunteering for 4 years now. I retired from a career in nursing and thought volunteering here was something I’d really like to do. I arrived with an open mind thinking I could volunteer in the laundry, kitchen or even on reception but it was the lead nurse who suggested being part of the spiritual care team.
I didn’t realise there was such a thing as Spiritual care but after meeting with the Chaplin at the time they explained more. I thought to be given this opportunity to have the time to spend and sit with the patients was something which really appealed to me. Having worked in general practice during my career you never really get that time one to one as you’re usually just so busy, therefore this role really worked for me. I don’t even have to talk I can just sit by a patient’s bedside and be a calming presence to provide that comfort for families and people at end of life.
What do you like most about volunteering with us?
I love meeting the patients and being able to chat with them on a personal level. The staff are also lovely specifically the social work team who have accepted me, something I really appreciate. It’s a very trusted position. I look forward to my volunteering day, no two days are the same and I do really enjoy the welcoming nature of the hospice.
Would you recommend to other people? And if so, why?
I would recommend volunteering perhaps not in the same position as myself but there are so many opportunities that I wasn’t aware of. Sometimes the public don’t see what goes on in the background and the vast variety of roles that are available. There really is something for everyone.