“I first began volunteering for Peace Hospice Care in 2009. I enjoyed volunteering in the Inpatient Unit for 13 years but following the pandemic found it too uncomfortable to wear a mask for hours at a time, so began to look for another way to volunteer.
“I heard about the Compassionate Neighbours scheme and thought it would be ideal for me because I enjoy meeting new people.
“I signed up for the training and although I felt nervous about attending it, found the training to be really interesting and the tutors were excellent. I learned a lot about supporting people who are dealing with a life limiting illness.
“I was matched with my first community member, Ronnie, in January 2023. He has a life-limiting illness that makes it difficult for him to get out of the house. Ronnie lives at home with his wife who is his carer so when I visit each week, she has the chance to get other things done or to go out of the house, knowing he has company.
“I visit for one hour per week and really enjoy my time with Ronnie. During my first visit we played cards together and ever since, we have spent the time just chatting and having a laugh together.
“I love hearing stories about his life. He had a very interesting career that he tells me about and is well travelled. We like to look at all his photos around the room and chat about the stories behind each of them. His eyes light up when he talks about the past which is just wonderful to see.
“I really enjoy volunteering as a Compassionate Neighbour. It’s far from a chore – I thoroughly enjoy our time together and love to hear about his life. It’s very humbling to do something each week that gives back in my own community, but that I also benefit immensely from, too”
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