Kathleen’s story

Kathleen volunteers in the coffee shop and is always on hand to offer a free hug!

I decided I wanted to become a volunteer for St Ann’s after my brother was cared for here for three days before he passed away. I could see how the hospice was very kind to him, and also to us as a family. From nurses, reception staff, and all the volunteers, everyone made us feel welcome and looked after.

I have volunteered for St Ann’s for about a year and a half now. I volunteer around two to three times a week at the hospice in Little Hulton. I do a variety of roles, helping on the wards, serving in the coffee shop and assisting the admin teams.

My favourite role is volunteering in the coffee shop as I meet such a wide range of people from staff and volunteers to relatives and friends of patients and so it is always such a varied day which I enjoy.

I enjoy volunteering as I feel I’m giving something back to the hospice and I’ve still got that connection to the place where my brother was cared for in his final days.

I meet lots of families and loved ones of patients who feel like they’ve lost their world and are going through the hardest points in their lives and as I’ve been through it too I feel I can really empathise with them and I’m able to offer compassion to them.

Everyone who walks through the hospice doors is shown warmth and love. There is no discrimination to anyone, everyone is treated with the same compassion. Human kindness is such a small thing to do but can mean such a big thing to people who are going through a really hard time, so I’m always on hand to offer a free hug.

I’ve made life-long friends through volunteering here and I find that you get close to people quickly as loved ones often share a lot with me, as I’m around to listen to people and offer a shoulder to cry on.

I hope to continue volunteering as long as I can, as I really enjoy it. There’s another volunteer here called Margaret who is 86 years old and has been volunteering here for 25 years, which I think is amazing! I have such admiration for her, she’s not selfless at all and looks after everybody. She is my inspiration.

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