Volunteering at Christmas
Christmas in Alice House Hospice’s Day Services is a festive time full of laughter, this is it from the eyes of one volunteer.
Janet Staunch has been volunteering in the Holistic Wellbeing Centre for 2 years and joined the team with a desire to “give something back to the community”.
“I don’t feel like a carer, I am here to help our group enjoy their day. Each of us has our own niche and we work together as a team to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”
Janet, who knew she wanted to volunteer somewhere, was apprehensive about whether she would enjoy volunteering at the Hospice and held the common misconception that it would be a sad place with an overbearing link to death. She attended an open day at the Centre with a friend who works at the Hospice and was shocked that the atmosphere there was quite the opposite of what she expected.
Janet met staff members who were “joyful and happy and brought light to the group.” Janet said, “The Team bring so much happiness to the group; one family member told me that they had ‘lightened up my Mam’s life’”
Janet said, “Christmas time is special to everyone, having an illness doesn’t change this. We have festive activities throughout December, children’s choirs from local schools visit to sing carols, Peterlee Lions and a local Doctor’s choir also attend to join in the festivities and we also now hold our own Light up a Life service here.”
Jan Dunn, Senior Healthcare Assistant said, “We do everything that anyone else would do, have Christmas Dinner, a Christmas Jumper day and local shops visit so our group can get some Christmas shopping done. Our volunteers and staff are an outstanding and passionate team who work hard to make sure every day counts for our group; it is a privilege to be part of the Team.”
- Day Hospice is held on Wednesdays and is for patients living with a life-limiting illness and is designed to provide support to patients who may have issues with their health such as management of symptoms, administration of treatments such as blood transfusions or intravenous fluids or simply providing an introduction to Hospice services.
Day Care is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is for those who may have a health diagnosis but whose needs may be more social in nature.