Madeline Fraser - Retail Volunteer
Madeline Fraser is one of our very first retail volunteers and has volunteered at our Crosby shop for 17 years. She was a class teacher at St. Hugh’s Primary School in Edge Hill for over 30 years and, after she retired in 2005, started volunteering in 2006 and hasn’t looked back.
Madeline said: “I originally worked in the hospice’s first charity shop which was on Victoria Road in Crosby. I really enjoy volunteering. It is a very varied and flexible role and you can do whatever you like best. I prefer to work at the counter but others like to sort clothes at the back of the shop.
“We have a large team of volunteers here and I have made a lot of very close friends. We all socialise together and I have even been on holiday with a couple of friends from the shop. I would highly recommend volunteering to anyone.”
Kathy Halter - Volunteer Befriender
Kathy is a community musician and works with older people in care homes who have dementia or challenges that are more physical. She was looking for an opportunity to volunteer and use her skills to help our patients at the end of life. She discovered the hospice through an internet search and got straight in touch.
“Music has the power to soothe, comfort and provide an escape for people, especially at the end of life. As a befriender, I am there to support patients at their bedside by listening, talking or reading to them but some people don’t want to talk and music can have huge benefit so I am looking forward to being able to offer this experience to them.”
Imogen - Retail Volunteer
Imogen is one of our youngest volunteers. After finishing her GCSE’s, she wanted to get some work experience. She knew about the hospice from her RE lessons at school and, when out walking her dog one day, she passed the hospice and saw a sign asking for volunteers.
“I volunteer in one of the hospice’s charity shop and it’s really good. I go there once or twice a week and I help sorting donations and working on the till. It is a fun thing to do over the summer. I have met some lovely people and it has really boosted my confidence. I am starting my A-Levels in September but hope to carry on volunteering when I can.”
Rachael Dobbin - Ward Assistant
Rachael is 21 years old and has recently graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology. During her final year, she completed a work based learning module at the hospice, which she really enjoyed and found to be an incredibly valuable experience. Rachael decided to stay on as a volunteer ward assistant to gain more experience for her future career in health psychology.
“I love spending time at the hospice; it gives me a real sense of purpose. It has been the first clinical environment I have worked in and has been very rewarding. It has allowed me to develop my skills and grow personally too. I really enjoy having a good chat with the patients and getting to know them and the staff are all lovely. I definitely feel part of the hospice community.”
Susan Allan - Volunteer Receptionist
Susan applied to become a volunteer after seeing an article in this very magazine at the beginning of the year. She had previously worked as a council administrator for over 25 years and retired in 2017. She had always intended to volunteer but was unsure about what or where.
“I had some anxieties about applying but Siobhan allayed my fears and I felt that this was the position for me. My first session went well and, most importantly, I was able to answer and transfer telephone calls, which was something I had been dreading. I now feel more confident in the role. Everyone is very friendly and offer support when needed.
“From a personal perspective, I now look forward to Mondays. With people to talk to and assist, I feel useful and valued again. Now that I have found my feet, and I am enjoying myself, I am planning to volunteer for a second session each week.”
Neil - Patient Befriender Volunteer
Dianne - Ward Clerk Volunteer
Lydia - Ward Clerk Volunteer
Joan - Ward Clerk Volunteer
Eileen - Admin and Reception Volunteer
Janet - Administration 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 as a patient befriender. I am so grateful that I was accepted and enjoyed this new role for a number of months. It was an honour to meet some of the patients and be able to build a relationship with them by chatting and providing a listening ear. It also gave me the opportunity to get to know more of the amazing staff.
"Alongside this role, I was also helping out in the hospice admin office with the programme of Covid testing. This eventually led to me moving across to support the admin staff in facilities and HR. This also provided me with the chance to help with a range of fundraising activities. I really look forward to my two sessions a week and have been welcomed as part of this wonderful team.
"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 phone our Volunteer Co-ordinator and have a chat about it. There are so many different roles that provide the opportunity to really make a difference."
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.