The 1 June to 7 June is Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the contribution volunteers make to charities, and other organisations, through the selfless donation of their time. Rowans Hospice Charity has over 1400 valued volunteers who dedicate their time to support the many Services across the organisation and are instrumental in the continued success of the Charity.
Here we share Margaret’s story, one of our wonderful volunteers who donates her time to the Rowans Hospice Living Well Centre. Margaret has been a Volunteer with the Charity for just over four years and has undertaken a variety of roles, including being a Hospice Companion, visiting people at their home to keep them company, as well as being on our bank of volunteers for the In-Patient Unit.
Margaret is currently hosting the Virtual Coffee and Chat Group where patients, carers or people who have recently been bereaved come together virtually to enjoy a cuppa and a chat. We asked Margaret some questions about what it is like to be a volunteer for Rowans Hospice Charity.
What made you decide to volunteer for Rowans Hospice Charity?
I had known of the Charity for many years, and, being retired, I was keen to do some voluntary work. I wanted to help people directly, rather than being on a committee, so after an interview and some training I became a Hospice Companion.
What do you love about the Coffee and Chat Group?
I benefit from the group in many of the same ways as the members. During Lockdown, it has given structure to my week, and it is something to look forward too. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the different group members, each of whom brings their own interests to share with everyone else. I’ve learnt numerous gardening tips, various tasty recipe suggestions, routes for country walks and how to introduce a new chicken to a coup. There is rarely a pause in the conversation and we share a good laugh together.
What has changed about volunteering during the pandemic?
My role within the volunteering team has changed a fair bit during the Pandemic. I am unable to visit people’s homes, so it has been a real bonus for me to have been involved with the Virtual Coffee and Chat. The use of technology has brought some fantastic benefits to everyone and I think people have grown in their confidence to use computers, and, more importantly, their personal confidence to speak up and share has grown hugely.
We would like to thank Margaret for her support as a volunteer. We appreciate everything you do.