Meet Lindsey, who first started volunteering at the hospice when she brought her therapy dog in to see the patients.

What volunteering roles have you done at Katharine House?

I started volunteering with Katharine House in 2009 when I brought in our Pets as Therapy dog, a Golden Retriever called Lina (named after a lion cub my daughter looked after on a volunteer project during her gap year in Africa). She was two years old when we started coming and everyone wanted to meet her. She just brought a smile to people’s faces and brightened their day. They’d recall their own dogs and talk about happy memories with their pets.

We retired Lina about five years ago, but I wanted to continue volunteering at the hospice. As I had a nursing background, I started bathing patients who were attending Living Well, which carried on until the pandemic hit and outpatients stopped.

I continued to be involved with Living Well throughout the pandemic, phoning patients every week to check on them and see that they were doing OK.

What are you currently doing?

Once Covid restrictions lifted and Living Well was back up and running, I was asked if I would come in and do some photography sessions with the patients. I’ve been a keen photographer since I was eight years old and Katharine House thought the patients could get a lot out of experiencing a different skill.

I started in March and the first morning it was a lovely sunny Monday and I took the patients outside. We sat on the hill and took a number of photos of the view of the garden and rear of the hospice. These were then 'stitched together ' using software on the computer to create a 'panorama' and achieve a beautiful photo that is now displayed in the hospice reception.

Another week we photographed a beautiful bowl of miniature daffodils using 'focus stacking' to obtain the flowers completely in focus. Today we’re trying to capture the light of a stunning ornament brought in by one of the patients.

Why did you choose to volunteer at the hospice?

Initially I got involved because I’d heard on the grapevine that they were looking for a Pets as Therapy dog. We had just trained Lina, she had passed her assessment and I wanted to share her with patients.

What do you like about volunteering at Katharine House?

It’s nice to have put my nursing skills to use. I trained at St Thomas Hospital in London followed by midwifery training in Gloucester and worked for many years in accident and emergency and haematology. Now with the photography, I can put a different skill to use.

It’s the atmosphere here that makes Katharine House – just how caring everyone is. You don’t get that in many places.

It’s the time that everyone gives. They have time for patients and that really makes a difference. Most people know someone who has received care here and all you hear are good reports.

Which do you prefer out of the following?

TV or book?

I’d say more TV than books although I don’t really have time for either! If I was going to watch anything on TV it would be a gardening programme or Sewing Bee.

Stay in or go out?

Well, I love staying in so I can photograph my garden! I love bird watching. We currently have some recently fledged Great Tits that have just discovered that the pond is for bathing; they can be very amusing to watch as they try to get the hang of it.

Cats or dogs?

We wouldn’t have a puppy again. Let’s just say we’re not actively looking for another Golden Retriever, but who knows.

Board games or card games?

Probably equal. We like playing both with family.

Dessert or starter?

Definitely a starter. If I had to choose, I’d go for a prawn cocktail!

Katharine House Hospice