Our Volunteers' Stories

Find out more about our volunteers' experiences of volunteering for the Hospice

Georgina, a volunteer on the Inpatient Unit

Young volunteers make a huge difference

Georgina Morris, 18, from Haigh started volunteering on the Inpatient Unit in summer 2014.

She first came into contact with the hospice in 2012 when her dad Stephen was cared for both in the hospice and by the hospice's community nursing teams after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer; an Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma.

"One of the nurses visited my dad at home and she was very supportive," said Georgina. "It was difficult to come back because I have experienced the hospice from a personal perspective, but I wanted to give something back. Volunteering has given me the chance to experience the other side of the hospice and to see how the nurses work. It was a very enriching opportunity and I'm glad I took part in it!"

Her dad passed away in February 2013, a few days before Georgina sat her Maths GCSE. She said: "It was a difficult time, but I know that my dad would have wanted me to take my exams. I really needed to get good grades so I could get into college."

Georgina finished volunteering in April in order to focus on her exams. She is taking A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths at Winstanley College and has gained a place at St Andrew's University to study Medicine.

She said: "I have had the chance to volunteer and I know from experience how difficult it is to find the right opportunity. Therefore, I decided to give someone else a chance, as the hospice is an ideal place for anyone who wants to get some clinical experience."

Georgina was also recently nominated by her college and won the prize for the Soroptomist Young Achiever of the Year 2014-2015, given her work at the hospice, her achievement in getting 9A* and 4A grades in her GCSEs at The Deanery High School and an A* and 4A grades in her AS year of college.

Georgina is a keen pianist, singer and a member of Wigan Little Theatre.

Marie, our oldest volunteer

 Marie still volunteering at 91

Marie Miller from Golborne can claim to be Wigan and Leigh Hospice's oldest volunteer.

Marie, who turned 91 years old on April 14th, celebrated 23 years of volunteering at the Hospice's shop in Golborne in 2015.

She began her voluntary work in May 1992 aged 68 after being approached by her friend Cate Fish who was co-ordinator in charge of the shop at the time.

Marie said: "My younger sister died when she was 27 of throat cancer and in those days there was no such place as a hospice so when Cate approached me I decided I wanted to help.
"Cate asked me how I would feel about volunteering in the shop and I got two women from my keep fit class to join me. The shop was based in smaller premises down the road at the time."

Marie began by volunteering four days a week but now volunteers two mornings every week at the shop on High Street.

Up until a few years ago she served customers at the till but now supports other volunteers using the till by bagging items and reading out the ticket price.

"We are quite a good gang - they all let me have my own way! - and we have some brilliant customers," said Marie.
"You're always on the go here and I like to keep active. I'll keep on volunteering for as long as I can - as long as God lets me," she said.

"I'm happy with who I work with in the shop and I get on well with the drivers who drop off and deliver furniture."

Irene Cieplak, Voluntary Services Manager at the Hospice, said: "Marie still has a great sense of humour and is a perfect example of how volunteering keeps you young and active both in mind and body."

Jan, Alan and Vicky. Hospice In Your Home volunteers

Jan Volunteer

Jan from Shevington (pictured above) spend a few hours every week as a Hospice In Your Home Volunteer.

She said: "I like that this service not only helps patients but that thought has been given to the carer. My sister-in-law Gill gave up her job to look after my mother-in-law and did it for 4 years. We all helped as much as we could but I never once gave my time for Gill and it is nice to give someone like Gill some time for them.
"I'm a chatterbox and a listener - I used to have a hairdressing salon so it's all part and parcel of my personality. I like people and I miss having that chance to talk."

Alan said: "I visit people through the church who are housebound and elderly and I've done that for 10 years so this is something that appealed to me," he said. "I have the time and I get pleasure from visiting people. I enjoy being able to listen, provide a bit of company for them and mine is a different face for them to see."

Vicky said: "I really enjoy volunteering in the Hospice and sometimes you get to know patients and their families but because the Inpatient Unit is for short-term stays you don't always get to know people very well. As a Hospice In Your Home Volunteer I'll can see the same person every week and get to know them."

 


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