Gillian’s Story

October 3rd, 2019 Posted in Blog, Volunteer Stories
2019 March volunter GillainParson crop Second choice

Gillian Parson, from Purbrook, is a retired nurse, who now volunteers at Rowans Living Well Centre

It is a joy to be able to volunteer here. And the more I see how people are supported here, the stronger I feel about trying to help raise funds to make sure Rowans will always be here for our community.

“When I retired from nursing at QA I thought ‘right, I know what I am going to do, I am going to volunteer at The Rowans’. Having seen the care they gave first hand, when I occasionally helped out on the wards and the amazing support they gave to a lot of dear friends of mine, who have passed away due to cancer, I always knew I wanted to do what I could to support Rowans when I retired.

I wanted to interact with patients, so volunteering at Living Well Centre offers me this opportunity and means I can use my nursing, counselling and bereavement skills. I am there to welcome anyone who walks through the door and be that someone they can come and talk to. Because when you’re told you have a terminal illness it’s a shock. They need to be able to talk to somebody, somebody that isn’t a family member, who can just listen and who they can express themselves, their fears and emotions freely with, not needing to worry about upsetting the other person. Somebody who has an understanding for what they are going through and when necessary to direct them to where they can get the help they need, whether that is within the Rowans or an external organisation.

So it is a joy to be able to volunteer here. And the more I see how people are supported here, the stronger I feel about trying to help raise funds to make sure Rowans will always be here for our community. I regularly hold fun themed charity fancy dress garden parties for family and friends. Thanks to their support and generosity, I have managed to raise a considerable amount of funds over the years for Rowans. Long may I continue to support ‘my hobby’, an amazing local charity, Rowans Hospice.

Poem by Gilly Parsons 2019

The Living Well Centre
An oasis of calm
In troubled times
Someone to chat to
Listening takes away fear
Let’s the tears flow
Brings hope
Heals the soul
Guiding back with
Help and support to
Living well again

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