Meet Our Volunteers

Neil - Patient Befriender Volunteer

Our patient befrienders have a really important role, helping to provide emotional support and companionship to our patients.
Neil started volunteering at the hospice in 2016 after his mum was cared for here.
"I wanted to give something back as a thank you for everything the hospice did for me and my mum. I spent over a year volunteering in the kitchen before taking on a new role as a patient befriender which I absolutely love.
"I really missed coming to the hospice during the Covid lockdown. It hit me really badly which shows just how much it means to me. But, after 18 long months, I am finally back.
"There are lots of new faces here, both patients and staff, and I was a bit nervous starting again but I love sitting with patients, listening to their stories and, for those that are able, taking them out for walks in the grounds.
"I would highly recommend being a befriender to anyone with a few hours to spare, you really get as much out of it as you put in."

Dianne - Ward Clerk Volunteer

Our volunteer ward clerks provide administrative support to our nurses and clinical team on the wards.
This is a new role but a very valuable one as it frees up our nurses from admin duties so that they can spend more time caring for their patients, time that is hugely precious and valued by our patients and their families.
"In 2020, at 66, I had the tough decision of whether to carry on nursing or to retire. I loved being part of the hospice family but back problems were making my role difficult. In the end, I decided to retire fully and increase my volunteer work.
"Before I left, I spotted an advert for a volunteer receptionist at the hospice which I thought would maintain my roots here so I applied and was successful. It was the perfect solution. Although I was sad that I had left my nursing role, I was so honoured to finish my nursing career at the hospice doing what I had loved for 49 years.
"After a break from volunteering during the most recent lockdown, I was contacted by the volunteer coordinator and offered a new ward clerk role which was right up my street as I would be back on the wards supporting my old colleagues.
"Because I am a retired nurse, I fully understand and respect the boundaries between the ward clerk and the nursing team but I can still play a role in the patient journey without having the patient contact that I used to when I was a nurse. I am really enjoying my new role and am so pleased to remain a member of the hospice family."

Lydia - Ward Clerk Volunteer

"It’s a lovely role supporting the nurses and clinical teams with administrative duties. It is so wonderful to be able to contribute to the fantastic service being provided by St. Joseph’s Hospice and I am delighted to be back here in my ward clerk role following the lockdown when we were unable to come in to the hospice and help."

Joan - Ward Clerk Volunteer

"A few years ago a friend told me that the hospice was looking for volunteers to become ward clerks. After an initial chat with the volunteer manager and a short induction, I started to work for four hours a week in the St Francis House unit. It didn’t take long to settle in and to feel part of the hospice team. During lockdown, volunteering on the wards was suspended so I was pleased to return as soon as lockdown was eased. It was lovely to see everyone again."

Eileen - Admin and Reception Volunteer

Eileen supports the hospice in lots of different ways. She provides admin support on a Wednesday morning and helps as a volunteer receptionist on a Saturday. She has also worked in one of our charity shops.
"I have had the opportunity to volunteer in various roles for St Josephs Hospice. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the shop as I gained experience of till work, display and pricing of items and met lots of lovely people, customers and staff. I currently help out in the office doing admin on a Wednesday morning. I really enjoy helping in the office and there is always plenty of work to keep me busy. On a Saturday I put my receptionist head on and welcome visitors and take phone calls. The setting is very tranquil and I get chance to watch squirrels and experience the colours of the changing seasons whilst doing my volunteering."

Janet - Reception and Patient Befriender Volunteer

"When I retired in August 2020, I knew that I wanted to give some of my time to volunteering but wasn't sure in which area, especially as we were still in the throes of a pandemic. When I saw that St Joseph's Hospice was looking to recruit a team of receptionists, I knew that I had found what I had been looking for.

"Working on reception was a great way to meet people, use my existing skills and develop new ones, including transferring calls without cutting the caller off!! Whilst on reception, I met some interesting people and dealt with a range of issues. Each session was a learning curve and it was so rewarding to use my newly gained knowledge to support the families of patients with a smile, a chat and an answer to some of their questions.

"This volunteering role gave me the confidence to develop my role within St Joseph's Hospice further so I applied for a volunteer role on the befrienders team. I am so grateful that I was accepted and am very excited to start this new role. I'm looking forward to meeting some of the patients and giving my time by chatting, reading and providing a listening ear. I also see it as an opportunity to get to know more of the amazing staff.

"I feel proud and honoured to be part of the St Joseph's Hospice volunteer team and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of volunteering to have a chat with Helen about it. There are many different roles that provide the opportunity to really make a difference."

Diane - Shop Volunteer

Diane has been a volunteer at our Crosby shop since 2005 and has received her 15 year long service award.

Why did you start volunteering for the hospice?

My first thought was that it would be a good idea to help the hospice by giving my time one day a week and I found out that it’s a great way to make friends with the other volunteers and it helped me personally to improve my own lifestyle.

What's it like being a shop volunteer?

The Crosby shop is lovely. The manager Tracy is wonderful and the lady I work with, Elaine, has become a good friend.

Rob - Volunteer Gardener

Rob has been a volunteer gardener at the hospice since 2009.

Tell us about your role?

It is a lovely place to work with a mixture of formal gardens set in a woodland setting. It mainly involves tidying the site, mowing lawns, tending to the borders and drinking coffee.

Why did you decide to volunteer for the hospice?

After working continually for 45 years, I retired aged 60 and really enjoyed doing all the usual activities of holidaying, diy, grandparent duties, walking and hanging round garden centres and shopping complexes.

Eventually, I realised that I still had plenty of spare time and decided to do some voluntary work and, as I always considered gardening to be a pleasure and not a chore, I noted that St Joseph’s Hospice didn’t employ anyone to look after the gardens so here I am in what I consider to be my outside gym.

What do you most enjoy about your volunteer role?

It’s nice to have the interaction with other volunteers and full time staff and it’s particularly gratifying when residents and their visitors express their thanks for our efforts.

To sum it up, what could be better than working outside in the fresh air, in amongst nature and keeping fit at the same time? Plus, it only takes a few hours per week.

Keith - Catering Volunteer

What inspired you to start volunteering?

I was lucky enough to retire a few years ago and volunteering seemed to be the best way of keeping active and getting out of the house.

What you get out of volunteering at the hospice?

My father was in the hospice in 2004 and was treated brilliantly. I was allowed to spend a lot of time with him as I could work remotely, so that time was precious. The opportunity to give something back was more than welcome.