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Romney, Shop, Ward, Hub

My wife attended the Day Hospice back in 2014, and it really helped her. I’d always thought about volunteering, and when I attended one of the Willow Wood Remembrance Services in 2016, I met Pat McCloskey, the chairman of the Hospice. I asked him to give me a job!

He arranged for me to meet up with the volunteer officer, and although I really wanted to work on the wards, I was advised that it was a bit too early for me to come back into the Hospice itself. Instead, she arranged for me to go to the Waterloo shop and I’ve never looked back. All the staff and volunteers are fantastic to work with, and Kelly the manager is great. We call ourselves ‘Kelly’s Heroes’! We all help each other and have become good friends.

I’d said that I’d be happy to volunteer in other parts of the Hospice, and Nicky, the head of day services phoned to ask me if I’d like to work on the Hub along with a member of the clinical team. The Hub is a wonderful mobile unit with wheelchair access, seating areas so we can chat to people, make them a hot drink, and just make them aware of the many different services Willow Wood can offer.

I drive it to different areas, and once we’re parked up for the day, we set out the leaflets and are available for advice, queries and support. Many people just don’t know how much Willow Wood can do and it’s a wonderful feeling when someone refers themselves for treatment or support after talking to us.

Now after two years, I’m able to volunteer as a ward assistant – which is what I wanted to do from the start.I answer the phones, make tea, serve meals, whatever’s needed, I’m there to help. I haven’t given up my other volunteering roles, though – I’m still helping wherever I can.

It’s such a wonderful atmosphere at Willow Wood, everyone works together, from Karen the chief executive down. I absolutely love the place and am so proud to be a part of it.

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