I started volunteering for the Hospice on reception, but since then I’ve also volunteered as a Wellbeing Telephone Support volunteer and most recently as a Telephone Befriender. I’ve been able to volunteer from home over the last year, mostly over the phone, but also meeting other volunteers and staff for meetings online. Volunteering at the Hospice is a life-changing experience.
Over the last year I’ve realised some people are very isolated, and it can be difficult to make new connections. A weekly chat can really help someone to regain a sense of belonging, and bring them back into a community that they were once a part of, which is such a lovely thing to be able to do.
I think the pandemic has really made us all aware of our vulnerabilities, and shown us how important our community is to us. I provide support remotely now, which sounds remote, but strangely it’s not, l now have a closer, more intimate relationship with the people l talk to. It’s allowed me an opportunity to connect more, putting myself aside and really giving the other person the time to express themselves.
One of the most positive advantages of volunteering is that it teaches you so much, and l often feel l am gaining more than the people l am helping. You learn about yourself through focusing on someone else.