“Sometimes, the only physical contact a patient gets is clinical, so this provides gentle, non-clinical physical contact that can be very reassuring”
Hilary Page is a volunteer at Living Well Centre providing hand and foot massage to individuals.
Hilary explains: “It’s the highlight of my week coming here! Since I retired from my career as a physiotherapist, this role has allowed me to have patient contact and use my skills.
Many patients can have swelling due to their condition, which massage helps relieve. But I feel my main role is to provide relaxation and therapy. Sometimes, the only physical contact a patient gets is clinical, so this provides gentle, non-clinical physical contact that can be very reassuring.
Recently, one lady attended but only wanted to hold my hand, so that’s what we did. Another man came along and told me all about his life; I was someone who hadn’t heard it before, unlike his family, so it was a chance for conversation.
People often feel they can tell me things that they can’t say to their family; pressures they’re feeling, worries about their illness, and so on. I’m here to listen as well.
I’ve been volunteering in this role for 3 years now, and the Hospice staff and volunteers have been so supportive in enabling me to provide this service, bearing in mind I am blind with absolutely no sight. It is a very supportive culture, and I am grateful to my colleague Linda, who volunteers to provide administrative support.”
“This is such a treat! I’m quite new to all of this, and we have found the Living Well Centre very welcoming and gentle. When you’re feeling a bit vulnerable, they are very supportive, to me and my husband”.
Lynn Roberts, who recently started attending the Living Well Centre since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.