Hans Hanagarth has volunteered in the art room at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice’s Day Hospice for ten years. A creative cartoonist, Hans volunteers his time and skills to teach patients painting, crafts and drawing. This is his story.
My father-in-law was attending the Day Hospice at Leckhampton Court Hospice when I retired in 2009. He and others had been treated to a trip along the River Avon and I did a cartoon depicting it – cartooning is my hobby – and I invited them to think of a caption.
The next thing I knew, the staff member in charge of the Day Hospice’s art room at the time invited me to come along and do some cartooning with the patients!
Fast-forward ten years later and, for a few hours on a Friday, I have spent the morning with the most wonderful people that I would never have had the chance to meet if it wasn’t for Sue Ryder.
From "I can't do art" to "What are we doing next?"
As volunteers, we know the work of Sue Ryder and what staff can offer with their palliative care. In the art room, I have seen the faces of patients, many who are dealing with terminal illness, light up and fill with pride at their production of a watercolour painting or an item of craft. So many people declare they "can’t do art" but soon after arriving in the art room they are asking: "What are we doing this week?"
We do not expect payment for the time that we give up, as our reward is to see and share those golden moments of laughter and pride with our patients. I cannot tell you how many friends that Sue Ryder has made for me. Patients, staff and other volunteers have given me so much in return for my few hours each week.
I love my part-time job as a volunteer and I just hope that I am able to continue to share my time with what is the wonderful Sue Ryder family.
What Leckhampton Court Hospice is really like
I would describe Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice as welcoming, thoughtful and caring.
I have had family members and friends who have had the benefits of the lovely care on offer. My mother spent time here having blood transfusions, and enjoyed meeting other patients and chatting over a cup of tea.
The hospice pays caring and professional attention to patients and their families in warm, friendly and beautiful surroundings.
Why I volunteer
I was inspired to start volunteering because I was able to offer some time in the art room, and found that my hobby helped other people to enjoy arts and crafts.
As a volunteer, you are able to experience all aspects of the care and attention given to every patient and their families.
If you can spare some time, not only will volunteering help the staff at Sue Ryder in their work, but you will get real satisfaction knowing you are helping.
If you are inspired by Hans’ story, check out our many volunteering opportunities across Sue Ryder.
Art Room Volunteer
Hans Hanagarth has volunteered at our Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham for ten years. He says that patients, staff and fellow volunteers have given him so much in return for his few hours a week.