“I’m a Volunteer Driver for the Florence Nightingale Hospice. The Hospice has a number of patients who come in for a day and my role is to collect them at home at half past nine, take them to the Hospice and leave them there for a 10 ‘o’ clock start. During the day the nurses and the other staff in the Hospice look after them, give them a nice lunch, and then I come back at 3 ‘o’ clock in the afternoon and take them home. That’s my job as a Volunteer Driver.
“When I retired about four years ago, I wanted to do something outside my own community. I live in a little village, and I do lots of things there, but I wanted to get involved with people outside my village.
“The staff in the Hospice are remarkable people. The level of care is outstanding. They’re such lovely people. And there’s a lot of humour in the Hospice as well, a lot of laughter, a lot of banter goes on, and if people could see that and get a sense of what a terrific place it is and what lovely care the patients get, then I think people would want to tap into that. I certainly feel privileged to be involved with that.”
Margaret Elvé started volunteering for the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity in October 2009, providing Monday afternoon teas and working in the kitchens at the Hospice. She also volunteered in the Finance Department on Wednesdays and Fridays where she helped with stock-taking in the warehouse as well as doing Finance administrative tasks, and she did a stint on Reception at Head Office.
Why did she choose to give so much time to the Charity? “My young sister Mary had been a patient in the Hospice and was attending the Day Hospice twice weekly before she died in October 2005,” Margaret explains. “I am also a cancer patient myself who has benefited from the Lymphoedema Clinic. I worked in the Hospice until my second diagnosis in September 2013. I had a mastectomy in January 2014 and returned to volunteer work in September of the same year.”
“I would recommend it to a friend,” she says, “and have done so, but I think some potential volunteers have a ‘thing’ about being in the Hospice itself. I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause to volunteer for but ultimately, it’s personal choice. There are so many ways to help that do not involve working in the Hospice itself but I’m not sure they are highlighted enough.”