Clare Gallie, CEO at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care said, “Our volunteers are wonderful people and so I wanted to say on behalf of everyone at our hospice, thank you. Without our volunteers we simply would not be able to help the local people that we are here to care for.”
One of the charity’s volunteers is Carol Burnell who wanted to share her story about how and why she became a volunteer and how her role has changed due to COVID-19
Carol, who has been a volunteer at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care for more than a year said, “I feel I’ve had a great life so far, and I wanted to give something back. I’ve always loved a challenge and will have a go at most things. The idea of volunteering for a charity is something I had long considered, but it wasn’t until I started talking to close friends and family about how fantastic Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s day care was that I felt I wanted to get involved and help others who needed support in my community.
“My day begins by picking up patients from their homes. It’s fulfilling knowing that when you turn up to collect someone, it’s going to give them the chance to get out and meet other people in similar situations, and it gives their family or carer some respite. It doesn’t take much time out of my day, but I know it means the world to the people who need help getting to the hospice.
“After collecting patients, we travel to the hospice where I join the rest of the day care team. From the start I felt an integral part of the team right from the word go. The staff and volunteers have all got their roles to play and we just come in and get going with our daily tasks, like making drinks.
“Volunteering at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has changed how I feel every day. Every volunteer you talk to will say that being here really helps to keep you grounded. It makes you evaluate and put life into perspective, so for me that’s one of the personal benefits. I love coming here and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s such an important place to give your time to and in return it is truly rewarding knowing you are playing a part in helping local people and their families.”
Since the day the hospice closed in March due to COVID-19 pandemic, Carol’s role has altered dramatically, and she is now supporting five patients in isolation, which could be a phone call to reassure patients the charity is still here for them.
Carol added, “We are their lifeline in these difficult times. I make sure medical needs are passed to the nursing team and on occasions I have dropped off essentials. Patients are so grateful for the support they receive, one said recently that ‘nobody but Lewis-Manning has helped me during the past few weeks’.
“This is tough to hear, but it’s the reason why I volunteer, knowing how much the patients appreciate the calls and how vital Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is in the local community.”
To find out more about Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s services, or if you would like information about volunteering, please visit their website, lewis-manning.co.uk.
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