I have been volunteering at the Hospice for twenty years. I give my Fridays to the Hospice.

My background was in primary education so I have always worked in a small, caring organisation and I have found the same atmosphere at the Hospice.

I find it satisfying to work in my community, for my community. I am a ward companion working with the patients, helping with some of their basic needs like feeding or drinking. Many patients are pleased to have someone who is neither family nor staff to talk to. They can speak of their worries or recount life stories to a person, who will not judge. Just drinking a cup of coffee together with patients or their visitors can be quietly supportive.

I am also a hospice neighbour and visit patients in their own home. It is a similar scenario really; not too much talking but plenty of active listening.

The role is not always easy but we are well supported by the Volunteer Co-ordinators and, for me, it is rewarding and worthwhile.