Hospice News

A family of volunteers

15 Jun 2022

Volunteer Stories

Giving their time to the Hospice is a family affair for this remarkable volunteering dynasty. Chris and her daughter-in-law Caroline shared some of their family's experiences.

Volunteers Chris and Caroline
Chris (left) with Caroline


My in-laws Chris and Rodney were already volunteers for St Peter's when my mum, who had

acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), spent her last few days being cared for at the Hospice in Brentry, five-and-a-half years ago. It's a charity that we already supported, but became more personal to us after seeing the amount of care that is offered without hesitation to patients like my mum.

After we lost my mum, my husband Aid ran the Stratford Marathon as a way of paying back a small amount of the support we had received from St Peter's. I wanted to do something to offer my own thanks (in a less physical way), and when I was made redundant during the first lockdown, it was the perfect time. I helped with listing items for the online Christmas Market, updating databases, and sending out info and packs for events.

My dad also did a short stint manning the doors and directing visitors when the Inpatient Unit was temporarily moved to Keynsham in 2018.

If you are able to commit to volunteering, even just a few hours a week, then do it! I was so warmly welcomed into the office by everyone, and thanked by so many people for the small part I played in helping out - but it really was me that felt I needed to offer thanks, for giving me a welcome escape from the strange Covid times we were going through.


The first person in my family to volunteer was my eldest sister Margaret, who for ten years helped at the Hospice reception and also at the Fundraising office, then in Clifton. She retired in 2011, and I took over her roles after I also retired from work. I had been Secretary to the Palliative Care Consultant at Southmead Hospital, and had quite close contact with St Peter's. Even today some of the staff at the Hospice were working at Southmead during my time!

My late husband Rodney joined the  volunteer drivers in 2014 until 2019 - mainly collecting patients for the Day Hospice, taking inpatients to hospital appointments, and transporting items between Hospice sites.

For us, volunteering has been a very rewarding experience. I would encourage everyone to do whatever you can.

More about volunteering

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