Linda Clement, from Chipping Warden has been volunteering with Katharine House for five years.

"I saw an advert to be an admin volunteer, helping out the Midnight Walk event and working with the fundraising team. At the time I had given up my job because my Dad was ill and I needed something to keep my mind busy, to be something other than a carer.

"I’d help with everything really, putting participants on the system; sorting out T-shirts. I was affectionately known as 'Linda on a Thursday'! At the actual Midnight Walk I was a marshal at two points along the route.

"Then the pandemic hit and nobody could put on any events and I was asked if I would do lateral flow tests for visitors to the hospice instead.

"I really enjoyed it. Visitors would have to wait for 30 minutes for the results and you could pick out the ones who were tense and anxious to get down to see their loved ones. So, I used to talk to them and reassure them.

"Then I’d bring them down to the ward to see their loved ones. I remember thinking how much that meant to families. My father was in a care home at the time and I would have given my eye teeth to spend time with him like they got to at the hospice."

A warm reception

Once lateral flow tests were not needed, Linda was once again asked if she’d like to carry on volunteering, this time as a ward receptionist working with the specialist nurses and doctors on the Inpatient Unit.

"Now I’m 'Linda on a Tuesday'! I greet all the visitors and take them down to see their loved ones. I make sure everyone has tea or coffee and help deliver the meals. I answer the bell to see if there’s anything I can do for them, or get a nurse if they need other help and just do whatever people need me to do.

"I really enjoy this job. I feel like I’m putting something back. It also makes you feel very humble and appreciate what you have at home."

When we asked why Linda chose to volunteer for Katharine House, she explained that it was always a charity that she thought of fondly. 

"I had a couple of relatives who died at Katharine House and always thought it was a lovely place. My daughter has been fundraising for the hospice for years. She had cancer and calls this place her insurance policy."

Care at Katharine House

"I think it’s a wonderful place. All the relatives speak so highly of the staff here. And rightly so. It’s a big part of the community. It’s such a calm and peaceful environment with all these wonderful services that people don’t know about. It’s so different to a hospital ward."

Linda urges everyone who is thinking about volunteering with Katharine House to give it a go, saying: "I just feel I am doing something worthwhile. If you want to volunteer, I would say just do it!"

In her spare time, Linda enjoys caravanning with her husband Paul and their 12-year-old dog Grettel and is looking forward to returning to France this year.

Katharine House Hospice