My name is Joy and I volunteer as a driver with St Ann’s. I’ve been a supporter of St Ann’s for over 30 years and I’m involved with a local ladies group who help fundraise for the hospice.
After retiring I decided I wanted to volunteer here and the driver role was the only one they had available. At first I was a little bit apprehensive about driving patients but I now thoroughly enjoy it and I’ve been a volunteer here for just over a year.
Friday is my day for driving for St Ann’s Hospice. It’s one of those days in every week that I look forward to and I enjoy being able to give something back.
I am assigned a patient for 12 weeks who I will drive to and from the hospice one day a week to attend day care.
8.30am – I phone the patient to check they are okay and well enough to attend St Ann’s day care that day.
9am – I drive to their address, ensuring I leave enough time in case there is traffic or any delays on the way that I might encounter. I collect them from their home, helping them in and out of the car. I try to make them as comfortable as possible and we usually have a bit of light conversation on the way to the hospice to help put them at ease.
9.45am – I usually aim to get the patient to the hospice before 10am, when day care starts.
After that I can leave to do whatever I need to do that day until I return to pick them up.
Every other Friday I will stay and help out in day care. I enjoy volunteering in day care as there is such a nice group of people and there is a positive and friendly atmosphere.
The patients spend the day taking part in a programme of creative therapy activities, such as still life painting, acrylic, silk and glass painting, mosaics and journal work. It all depends on the needs of the patients and what they want to achieve, it’s amazing what they can do there.
There’s also a range of social activities and entertainment that the staff arrange, which will usually be themed dependent on the time of year or what current events are on, such as the recent Royal Wedding!
There are also a number of services that patients can take advantage of including complementary therapies, counselling and they can even book in to get their hair cut by the resident hairdresser!
Or they can spend their time just being able to relax in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and enjoy a home-made delicious lunch.
2.30pm – If I’ve not stayed to help out, I return to the hospice a bit early and grab a cup of tea and have a chat with the other volunteers before day care finishes at 3pm.
3pm – After day care is finished I take the patient home.
At the end of the day, I feel good to have helped at the hospice and seeing that the patients are enjoying their day is really rewarding.
The hospice relies on over 700 volunteers to help continue to run our services. We currently need more volunteer drivers to help drive our patients. Drivers are amongst a fantastic team of volunteers all of whom receive an induction and training from the hospice to help carry out their roles, including how to help move patients and communicate with them.
The volunteer driver role would be good for people who can’t spare too much time, as it only takes up a couple of hours a week and all expenses are covered by the hospice.
We urgently need more volunteer drivers! Whether you have a couple of hours a week to spare or a couple of days, every single bit of support makes a difference to our patients and their families.Register now!