Dina has been volunteering for Katharine House in different ways since we first opened our doors thirty years ago. She told us about some of the ways she’s supported the hospice over the years and why she felt a connection to Katharine House even before it was built

What are your volunteering roles?

At the moment, I work on reception one morning a week. As well as answering the phones, I greet patients, visitors and staff as they come into the hospice. Sometimes people are coming for the first time, and they can be apprehensive. A friendly face on reception can make all the difference.

I also help out the fundraising team by counting money and getting collection tins to where they need to be. And occasionally I’m able to help as a volunteer driver if patients need a lift.

How long have you volunteered at Katharine House?

I’ve volunteered at the hospice since it was first opened back in 1991. I had a connection to the hospice even before it was built through Neil Gadsby, who founded the hospice after the death of his daughter Katharine. Neil contacted me through my role working for Crest Hotels, and I was able to help arrange office space for him and the team in the centre of Banbury while they set up the hospice.

Why did you choose to volunteer at the hospice?

I just think the hospice is fantastic. The services provided are so essential for local people, both in the hospice and out in the community and the care is phenomenal. I was still working full-time when the hospice was built, but I wanted to help and be part of it right from the start so I used to volunteer on reception for the evening shift.

What do you like about volunteering at Katharine House?

At the heart of it, I love meeting new people and helping others. It’s so rewarding doing something for others and trying to help. Plus, it has the added benefit of avoiding doing the housework!

What would you say to a friend about volunteering here?

I’d tell anyone who was thinking about volunteering to go for it. It’s a wonderful place! People often think it might be depressing, but it’s not what you’d imagine – there’s so much joy in the hospice.

Country walk or city break?

It would have to be country walks. I go to the Isles of Scilly for two weeks in May every year for a walking holiday. We stay in a lovely little cottage and do lots of walking with the occasional stop off at the pub. Perfect!

Dog or cat?

I love all animals, but I’d have to say cat. I’ve had some lovely cats over the years and having a dog was never really an option when I worked full time.

EastEnders or Corrie?

I actually don’t watch either, but if I had to pick it would definitely be Corrie! I moved to this area when I was five, but I’m originally from Bolton and I’m still a Lancashire lass at heart.

Katharine House Hospice