Meet volunteer Marilyn
Please tell us a bit about you
I am always happy to help others especially if it will make a positive difference for them.
What motivated you to become a volunteer at St Joseph’s Hospice?
My children are grown up and independent so I have time to be with others.
You’ve been volunteering at St Joseph’s since 2017. Can you tell us about the different roles you have had?
I have been attending the Coffee Morning at St. Joseph's and while there heard about Namaste and I thought I could help. I had been volunteering with Mind so I was aware of some of the difficulties people face when their brains begin to change. I completed the training and have worked with a number of people with Dementia both in their own homes and in nursing homes in Hackney. I have also attended one day events to give hand massages and to explain how Namaste works.
St Joseph's also has a Carers group that I have been a part of for quite a while. I care for my younger son and cared for my husband until he died in 2009. The Carers group offers support, advice and companionship to fellow carers. When the funding for this came to an end we needed to be self-sufficient. We also needed a facilitator who could organise the refreshments, guest speakers and other activities. The group voted me into that role and I am happy doing the best I can. St. Joseph's has regular Jumble sales and again I am more than willing to man a stall and help to raise much needed funds. My role as a volunteer at St. Joseph's is fun and rewarding and whenever possible I try to help in areas that come along as 'one off' jobs.
Tell us more about your role with the Carers Service
St Joseph's also has a volunteer role to give Carers a much needed break from their work by organising volunteers to either spend time with the Cared for while the Carer does something for her/himself, or spends time with the Carer doing something for themselves. Again this is a very rewarding part of my work as a volunteer.
What is the best thing about your role?
The best thing for me as a volunteer is knowing that I am making a difference at the same time as enjoying myself doing something that gives me pleasure and great job satisfaction. It is a lovely feeling when my clients ask me if I will be returning the following week to spend time with them.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering with the Carers Service but is feeling a bit hesitant?
Volunteering at St Joseph's is a privilege and a pleasure. Whatever I do is to help others in need. The Carers Service is special as it helps those who are already giving their own time, energy and love to someone else, so to give those Carers a little time for themselves is a real gift. (Having been and still am a carer, I know just how important it is to have a little me time once in a while).