Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is asking people to seize a new opportunity this leap year by volunteering.
Meet the latest volunteer at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice – a loveable, furry, three year old Cockapoo called Mabel. Pets as Therapy dog Mabel started volunteering at the hospice last year and has proved to be a ‘pawsome’ pal to patients, relatives and staff. Here, Mabel’s owner and fellow volunteer Debra tells us about their experiences.
For Sharon Wotherspoon, it was the start of a whole new career when her children volunteered at their local Sue Ryder shop. That was six years ago and Sharon is now Shop Manager of Sue Ryder’s Mengham shop on Hayling Island.
“When living with a life-limiting condition, there is still life to be lived. And here at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice our multi-disciplinary teams do all we can to make sure that life is fulfilling.” These are the words of Funmi Shitta-Bey, Physiotherapist and Day Therapy Lead at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire, who tells us more about her role.
“My husband’s wish was to die at home. He wanted to be surrounded by his own things with his family and friends around him.”
Penny Jarvis’s husband Colin died in 2009, five years after he was first diagnosed with a rare degenerative brain disease. Penny was Colin’s main carer and he was able to die in his own home according to his wishes. Ten years on and Penny, a Nursing Assistant, now works as part of the Hospice at Home team at Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire Palliative Care Hub.
39-year-old Helen Daniels is taking part in the Bedford Running Festival in September. She’ll be running in memory of her mum and to raise funds for the hospice that cared for her, Sue Ryder St John’s in Moggerhanger.
Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been trialling an innovative Wellbeing Café to support patients to live as fully and actively as possible with great success.
Michael Durkin, 69, was supported by our Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice at Home team to care for both his mother, Kathleen, and his brother, Tom, at the end of their lives, keeping them at home.
“I volunteer in Mum’s memory to give something back for the wonderful care she received at St John’s.”
Volunteer receptionist Janet Burgess is the first person patients and visitors meet when they come to Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice. She has volunteered there for five years in memory of her mother Joyce, leading to her being shortlisted for a Volunteer of the Year Award.
Pets can be a great support during illness and beyond – as volunteer Barry discovered when, following his wife Sarita’s death, he signed up their puppy Bella to become a certified Pets as Therapy dog.