Volunteer Helen's story

I’ve had the privilege of being a volunteer at Dove House for the last 12 years. And I can honestly say there’s no place like it – I just fell in love with it straightaway.
I didn’t know much about hospice care until a friend of mine was referred to one down south after being diagnosed with cancer. Well, the staff and volunteers were just amazing. I got chatting to one of the volunteers – an 18-year-old lad considering a career in medicine – and I thought, if he can do it, I can do it.
So, when I retired, I contacted Dove House to ask about volunteering – and I’ve never looked back. I used to think hospices were just about caring for people in their final days but have learned it’s so much more.
When patients first come into the hospice, I welcome them to ‘our five-star hotel’! It’s wonderful to see the transformation in patients when they’re with us; their medication is adjusted so they’re in less pain – and they can finally just rest and spend time with their families. When I used to help on the Inpatient Unit, it was my privilege to comfort patients while the nurses and healthcare assistants delivered medication or washed them – we’d hold hands and I’d sing to them. I love chatting with them and being a bit cheeky; there’s nothing like a bit of humour, even in the hardest, most vulnerable moments.
As a volunteer, I’ve given tours, packed bags in supermarkets and helped at summer fairs – anything I can do to help really. So, to me, leaving a gift to Dove House in my Will has been an easy decision.
“If my gift can help continue this amazing care long into the future, then that’s enough for me – we’re a charity after all, so I just want to make it that bit easier.”
I’d really encourage others, if they can, to leave a gift to Dove House too. We are a charity caring for those who are terminally ill – and you too could be part of the team that helps make sure we can keep providing this amazing service for our community. To me, there’s nothing more important.