‘I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend my free time’

December 1st, 2022 Posted in Blog

On Monday, 05 December 2022,  International Volunteers Day celebrates the hard work and time volunteers give, and the difference they make to the community. We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has offered their support to all areas across the Charity.

Ella Welch is amongst our wonderful volunteers. At 16 years old, Ella was confronted with the palliative care environment for the first time when her Grandma, Pat, was admitted to the Rowans Hospice, where Pat spent her last weeks on the In-patient Unit before passing away.

After witnessing the nurses, doctors, and volunteers providing the best possible care to her Grandmother, Ella started volunteering at the Hospice.  Ella told us “I wanted to volunteer not only to help the patients on the ward, but also as a thank you to the people who helped my Grandmother. I witnessed first-hand how much of a difference the volunteers make to each and every patient.”

Whilst spending her time on the Hospice ward, Ella provided support to patients and their families, ensuring that communication was gentle and empathetic. A key part of Ella’s Friday night shift was to offer teas and coffees to the patients, bring them their dinners, and check they were comfortable. Ella’s favourite part of the shift was “chatting with the patients – they all had their own life stories to tell which I will always remember.”

Ella enjoyed assisting the patients in every way she could, and meeting with their families during both challenging and emotional times. Ella reflected on her time at the Hospice, saying “I felt that after every shift I had achieved more than just one thing, whether that be making a patient laugh and more comfortable, or remembering how many sugars they have in their tea without having to ask!”

Having volunteered at the Hospice throughout COVID-19, a highlight of Ella’s was being awarded the ‘COVID Star People’s Medal’. Ella told us “this recognition will be something I will hold onto forever.”

Now, at the age of 21, Ella has started a new chapter of her life and has sadly worked her last shift on the ward. We asked Ella what she has learned over the last 5 years, and she told us “I was amazed by the strength, fortitude, and positivity displayed by those about to leave this earth. Their positivity and bravery are something that I have tried to take away and display in my day-to-day life. I would highly recommend volunteering at Rowans Hospice, in whatever capacity you can. It is highly rewarding and gives you another perspective on life.”

Thank you so much, Ella, for all your support over the years.

If you have been inspired by Ella’s story and would like to volunteer, please call us on 023 9225 0001 or alternatively send an email to hr@rowanshospice.co.uk.

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