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Why I volunteer: Because I enjoy caring for patients

Author: Natalie Schofield
17 July 2017

Natalie Schofield volunteers at Treetops Hospice Care in Derbyshire. Here she explains how she decided to volunteer after caring for her grandmother, and what she enjoys most about it.

I spent most of my career in the IT industry travelling between Hampshire and London. In 2013, I decided that the hours I was working were too long, I was not seeing my family as much as I wanted to, and not enjoying my job as much as I had done previously. So, I left.  

My grandmother became ill. I had not found a new career direction, but had time to look after her until she passed away later that year. After my grandmother’s passing, the harsh reality hit me that my parents were not getting any younger. They lived a few hours away in Derbyshire, so my supportive husband and I decided to relocate to be nearer to them.

Once we had moved to this beautiful county, I started to look for a volunteering role. I felt that I wanted to give something back and had enjoyed looking after my grandmother.

I wanted to work within a hospice environment as I felt that I would like to work with people who had life-limiting conditions. I searched for a local hospice and Treetops Hospice Care came up.

After reading through the website and understanding what the hospice offered, I made the decision to apply for a volunteering role within the day care unit. I was lucky enough to get an interview and turned up nervously to find a very smiley receptionist, a non-clinical, homely environment, and the noise of laughter and music coming from day care. Immediately, I knew that this was where I wanted to work.

I have now been working at Treetops Hospice Care for over a year and I find it very rewarding to be part of the day care team. I love talking to different people and I have learned to listen more. I have met some very interesting people.  I help make teas and coffees, and with lunchtimes, I help with personal care and on the arts and crafts table, and I also give hand massages.

When I am volunteering, it is nice to feel that I might have made a tiny bit of difference to someone who has welcomed it, and it is rewarding to know that I have helped someone.

For more information visit Treetops Hospice Care

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