Mahdiya has been volunteering with Rennie Grove Hospice Care as a Living Well volunteer at Grove House since July. She says:
“I had been wanting to volunteer with a hospice for a while after seeing the support that my father-in-law received from a hospice before he died. So I searched online and found that my local hospice service is Rennie Grove and they run day services at Grove House in St Albans. I applied and have been volunteering since the beginning of July.
“I have five daughters and a very busy home life. I love looking after my family, although it can feel repetitive to do the same things day in, day out. For me, finding voluntary work was about having some time for me – when I could be Mahdiya, not mum – and give something back to my local community. I find it really benefits my mental health to have this space and separation from my home life, when I can meet new people and put my skills in to practice for a different purpose.
“So far I am really enjoying the role. I volunteer one day per week with the Living Well service at Grove House. This is a day service for people with life-limiting illnesses. My job is to be on hand to chat to people, offer them support and help with the running of the session. As well as peer support, the sessions offer patients various activities and opportunities, such as music therapy and art therapy. It has been really interesting to be able to help with those kinds of sessions, which were new to me.
“I feel like the role really suits the skills I have developed in life, and through being a mother. I have great listening skills and I can easily empathise with people. These skills are crucial in this role as I can listen to people’s experience without judgement and support them emotionally.
“It’s a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere at Grove House and the staff really support you as a volunteer. I feel very valued in my role and look forward to continuing it.”
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