The work of dedicated volunteers is right at the heart of the incredible care that is delivered at Thorpe Hall Hospice in Longthorpe, Peterborough, and long serving volunteer Louise Cameron knows just how much that care matters.
Louise, aged 73, from Easton-on-the-Hill, has volunteered her services to the hospice for the past 20 years, using her skills in counselling to help care for both patients and their families.
A qualified psychotherapist counsellor, Louise first started volunteering at Thorpe Hall when she was studying for her diploma in counselling. Little did she know that 20 years on the hospice would have become her second home.
Louise said: “The very first day that I arrived at Thorpe Hall I was very apprehensive, but as soon as I opened the door to the building I heard the sounds of laughter, and that’s when I knew this was the right place to be.”
Louise spends her time at the hospice working as a bereavement supporter, which also includes working with bereaved children. She helps to run Charlie Chimp’s club which offers a specific bereavement service for children.
Louise said: “It can be helpful for a bereaved child to be with other children who are going through the same thing, so they know they’re not alone.”
Alongside the counselling sessions, Louise also offers a hand around the hospice, including visiting the patients on the ward.
Although Louise admits her role is very challenging, she still enjoys working with the team at Thorpe Hall.
“I’ve had a very interesting time at Thorpe Hall. I would definitely encourage others to take up the opportunity of volunteering.”
If you’re interested in volunteering at Thorpe Hall, there are always lots of volunteering opportunities available, including volunteer administrators, bereavement support service volunteers and ward volunteers.
Hospice director Jane Petit said: “Volunteering can be a great way of updating skills while gaining valuable experience to put on a CV for future job searching.”
For more information visit www.thorpehall.org.