Sarah's story

Sarah Christie, Volunteer from Islington

How did you first come across St Joseph's Hospice? 
"My dad died here in 1995. He was in hospital and I happened to come across a nurse from St Joseph’s Hospice who told me about the place. They said he had a couple of weeks to live so I decided to take him out of hospital and he went to St Joseph’s where he died two days later. He received really good care."

What is your role at STJH?
"I’ve been volunteering at St Joseph’s Hospice for 13 years. I work three days a week in a number of different roles. I run the Share and Support Group once a week in Finding Space. I work in the Day Hospice, the Café and I do the handbag stall at all the jumble sales."

Describe your volunteering role
"In the Share, Support and Socialise Group I run exercise classes, we do quizzes, games, massages and lots of laughing. We also do painting. I help out in the Day Hospice once a week where we do bingo and drawing and other odd jobs. I also help out on the ambulance, escorting patients into their homes when they’re dropped off from Day Hospice."

What's the best thing about volunteering?
"The people who come here have life-limiting illness but aren’t at end of life and what I find is they are so positive. It really rubs off on you. I love meeting the patients, they’re all really nice. We always have a laugh and they tell me their troubles. Rachael from Information and Support is my favourite person here. I work with her a lot and we go out to different events telling people about St Joseph’s Hospice. I see people out and about when I’m shopping or on the bus and they always stop and talk to you."

What is the hardest thing about volunteering?
"It’s sad when you lose someone you’ve got to know well. The patients are all very special and that’s why we’re here, to make their lives better."

What does the hospice mean to you?
"I really like coming to work here and meeting people. I really see what life is like for other people, it can be really hard but we always try to have a laugh. I’ll only ever leave when I can’t manage it any more. I know I’m really valued here, particularly by Rachael and all of the Day Hospice Team. I like working with them, they’re really nice, friendly people."

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