What’s your volunteering role?

I initially became a hospitality volunteer in 2017, which involved offering refreshments to patients and relatives as well as working with the catering team. The role gave me the opportunity to meet many of the amazing staff as well as the privilege of engaging with patients and and their families.

More recently, I’ve spent time on reception (with some much-valued training) and have since developed a renewed appreciation for all receptionists. I also continue to support the catering team in the kitchen, which involves anything from washing up to baking cakes or helping with deliveries.

What do you like about volunteering at Katharine House? 

Volunteering at Katharine House is a real pleasure as having the chance to meet and work alongside such dedicated and caring people is uplifting. The atmosphere is so welcoming - I was immediately struck by the warmth and positivity. There are lots of opportunities to be involved in a variety of sociable events too. I loved having the opportunity to walk down the catwalk in a sparkly dress at a fundraising fashion show, even though it was daunting on the night!

After a shift I regularly leave feeling elated as I know my contribution, however small that day, may have contributed to helping a patient and their family. I know from personal experience at difficult times that it’s the little things like showing kindness and thoughtfulness that make all the difference. Those are the things that happen all the time at Katharine House.

What skills have you gained from volunteering? 

Where do I start with skills I have learnt? Working the dishwasher in the kitchen was a bit of a challenge to begin with! Having had a career in teaching taught me that you learn something from every situation, whether it’s understanding more about palliative care and the services the hospice offers, the intricacies of the telephone system or trying new recipes.

What would you say to a friend about volunteering here?

I’ve found that being flexible, a listener and open to trying new things has brought so many rewarding experiences at the hospice that I’d thoroughly recommend it.

What’s your favourite podcast?

Not into podcasts as yet.

Country walk or city break?

Country walks at the moment! Love city breaks too and can’t wait to be able to go again.

Dog or cat?

Definitely dogs, although preferably not muddy ones.

Eastenders or Corrie?

Neither. I enjoy a good crime thriller, although at the moment I’m loving The Repair Shop and Ghosts.