Hattie’s volunteering story

"I studied German at university so I ended up living in Berlin in the 1980’s. When I came back to the UK I worked as the London correspondent to a German pop magazine (lots of asking boy bands what they eat for breakfast!) After that I worked as the in-house comedy writer for Comic Relief, while scribbling my first novel. I’m just getting stuck into my third book – and keeping myself afloat by copywriting for various charities.

"I have been a meditation volunteer with Pembridge Hospice for over five years now. The most rewarding part of my role is, undoubtedly, the lovely people I get to be around – both colleagues and patients. They’ve all got a well-honed sense of humour and somehow there’s a lot of joy here. Most challenging is when one of the patients who you’ve come to care about, inevitably, dies.

"There are many precious moments at the hospice but I think my favourite is the very simple games we play – mostly for hand/eye coordination. Our unlikely little yellow Poundland ball gives us all a huge amount of pleasure – and laughter.

"I have learnt much about myself whilst volunteering here, mainly listening – properly. I’m pretty impatient by nature, so I’m slowly getting the hang of just sitting and being present when patients are talking – instead of trying to fix them (which clearly isn’t going to work anyway)

"For anyone who has thought about volunteering, I would say: just do it, You’ll surprise yourself, not only with much you learn, but how much it makes your heart sing."

For more information about opportunities currently available at our Pembridge Hospice, view our latest opportunities or contact the team’s volunteer manager.