We can shout about how great our volunteers are until we’re blue in the face, so let’s hear about volunteering from some of our amazing volunteers themselves!
Former Volunteer at Ardgowan’s Furniture Store in Carnock Street.
Amy completed her HNC in Social Science last year and her aim is to get a job in the Prison Service. She became a volunteer to give her the experience and skills to help her get a start in her chosen career.
“I was looking for jobs online and that’s when I saw the advert for volunteering at Ardgowan Hospice. I started working at the furniture store. The people are really friendly, the staff and the customers.”
The hospice supported an application with the Inverclyde Community Development Trust to turn Amy’s volunteering into three month paid placement at Ardgowan. After completing this placement Amy carried on volunteering!
“The trust paid placement was great and I would never have known about this option if I hadn’t been volunteering. I feel that by being involved as a volunteer is good to have on my CV and it also gives me a reference for future employers. I am learning new things, like communication skills with customers, cash handling, using the till and get experience working with a line manager, which I haven’t done before.
“My volunteering job is varied. I answer the phones and organise furniture pick-ups from people who are donating to the hospice. I also arrange deliveries of furniture to customers. My role also involves working on the till and arranging the furniture in the store. “
Amy is honest about her volunteering being a stepping stone in her career. “I really think my volunteering at the hospice is going to help me get a job in my chosen career.”
She is also aware that her role is helping the hospice. She adds: “I know I have an important role as we know we are raising money to help the hospice”.
Volunteer Patient Driver
When one of Lynne’s closest friends received end of life care at Ardgowan, she was overwhelmed by the kindness and support shown by all the staff her friend’s family. She vowed to try and help the hospice in some way.
“I am a very sociable person and like to drive, so joining the Free Patient Transport Service at the hospice seemed like a logical choice. I hadn’t realised how valuable the service is, for some patients it’s a lifeline. “
Lynne has been volunteering for nearly 3 years and has driven patients 12,105 miles in that time.
“Patients who don’t live close to their family or whose family members are working and can’t drive them all the time, find it incredibly expensive, difficult and time consuming to travel to their radiotherapy sessions or hospital appointments.”
“I find my volunteering role so rewarding. Some patients could be going to over 20 sessions up at the Beatson. Although I may not be rostered to take them on every journey, I will be heavily involved. The patients can be very nervous and apprehensive on their first visit. I can offer them some reassurance and practical help. After the first treatment they feel more comfortable and know what to expect.”
“I take them to the door and show them exactly where to go, sit with them if they want me too and then take them home to their door. They don’t have to worry about buses, trains and get stressed about parking or worrying that their family will have to miss work by taking them to an appointment. It is a fantastic opportunity to offer help at a difficult and uncertain time in someone’s life.
“Some patients are very quiet and I respect that. I get them from their appointment to home with comfort and minimum fuss or bother.
“Patients feel supported and I like to think I am always positive and there for them and likewise the staff at Ardgowan Hospice are there for me if required.”
Volunteer on reception at Ardgowan Hospice.
Sally had retired from a full time job at the Estates Office at Ardgowan House and soon realised she needed something more to do than gardening and hobbies. She wanted to support a local charity and use her work and life skills.
“I had been involved with fundraising for the hospice and I knew about the work they did in the community so I approached Ardgowan to see if I could become a volunteer.”
“I am very sociable and enjoy meeting people, so working on reception at the in-patient unit at Nelson Street is a good fit for me. I have one shift on a weekday morning and also offer to fill in when someone is on holiday.”
“I really enjoy volunteering. I feel I am doing something positive and that I am helping the daily routine of the hospice. I try and provide a welcoming atmosphere. I know some people are visiting at sad moments in their lives, but I do what I can to put them at ease and feel supported.”
Sally is also keen to point out the opportunities for progression at the Hospice. “If you want to learn new skills, there are so many volunteer opportunities in Finance, Human Resources and I am already looking to add to my duties in the near future.”