Andrea’s volunteering story
"My name is Andrea and I am 66 years young. I went to school and college in Hastings Sussex and trained as a nurse in London. After completing my training I completed an oncology course at the Royal Marsden Hospital London which I enjoyed very much. As a result I remained in oncology nursing. I am now retired and for a short while have worked as a bank nurse in plastics with oncology patients again.
"In the past I have been involved with voluntary work at schools and in hospitals helping with various fund raising events on a small and large scale which has been great fun and very rewarding.
"As I am retired I have time to help at the hospice as a volunteer. So many different tasks are available for me each week when I arrive. In this way I am able to continue patient and staff contact in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I am based with the inpatients at the moment but am happy to help with outpatients also should the need arise at any time. I work from 09:30 to 16:00 one day a week but meetings and social events do take up a little more time.
"My duties vary from giving out tea and coffee to patients, washing cutlery and crockery as there is no dishwasher, talking to patients and relatives, helping with reception work, i.e. telephone duties, showing visitors to the unit, helping patients fill out questionnaires regarding their care, tidying the linen cupboard and watering plants. The list is endless and varies according to the needs of the patients and staff.
"As this is a new role for me, I am still learning the ropes but I enjoy the challenge and I am learning so much in a very friendly relaxed atmosphere with helpful staff. I would advise you to volunteer if you can give a few hours a week no matter what your background may be or your age. You can learn new skills, add to your CV and meet all sorts of people from all walks of life."