Helping to drive patients and family members to access hospice care
As much as you like, I personally work 3 days a fortnight, but you can get called in from home.
What does your role involve?
My role involves transporting patients from home to the hospice; I drive patients in from all kinds of places such as Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Bideford. I also drive them to Exeter for appointments. I am also trained to use specialised equipment such as oxygen masks just in case!
What inspired you to become a volunteer?
My father in law passed away here not too long ago, and I was so impressed by the staff at the hospice that I thought I should give something back, so I decided to volunteer.
Why would you encourage others to become a volunteer?
It makes you feel good to help others less fortunate than you. The atmosphere is very positive here and the staff are very friendly and helpful.
What is the best part of volunteering?
Doing something useful and helping others.
What has been your most rewarding experience being a volunteer?
I can’t think of one situation in particular, but helping improve people’s lives as they come to the end is a very rewarding feeling.
What have you learned since becoming a volunteer?
I have become a much kinder and more patient person. Volunteering has improved my ability to stay calm and have a positive outlook.
Has your perspective changed?
My perspective hasn’t really changed but I am more certain of what I’m doing.
What is your background?
I was a science teacher and Head of House at the Park Community School for 40 years, retired in 2005.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I used to be a grumpy person but volunteering changed that.
What are your hobbies?
Well nowadays it’s watching sport, gardening and travelling.
Cyril, a volunteer driver and gardener
Cyril volunteers as a gardener and also drives patients from their home to appointments at the hospice.
Lucy, a volunteer hairdresser
Lucy volunteers her skills as a hairdresser, helping patients and carers feel good by looking great.