Jayne’s story

“If you are looking to give something back to your community, St Giles will give so much more back to you.”

“I get so much pleasure from the time I spend at St Giles Hospice, I wish I’d done it sooner!” said Jayne. “I waited until I retired at 55 to volunteer, but now I sometimes wonder why I did that.”

Jayne Graham, aged 56, spent 33 years in the retail industry before retiring.

“It was important for me to keep busy when I retired, so I have thrown myself into a number of volunteering roles at various organisations, including St Giles,” she said. “But, St Giles is the place where I love to spend most of my time. The whole environment is just wonderful.

“I volunteer in a number of different areas. I help out in the Day Hospice on Mondays and I do a couple of night shifts working on reception each week. During the COVID-19 outbreak I have also helped the team on the Inpatient Unit, as many of the volunteers who usually work there are unable to come in at the moment.

“It has been the most rewarding experience. I help out with jobs like making tea, serving lunches or having a chat with patients, but the best part of it is that I’m meeting the people that I only knew by name before.

“When I’m on reception I get to know the names of patients really well, so I love being able to meet the patients myself and say to them: ‘I’ve heard all about you!’ It’s so lovely to be just a small connection between patients and their loved ones at this difficult time.”

Jayne added: “One of the ladies I do the reception night shift with has a full time job and she still loves doing her weekly three-hour shift at St Giles. There are so many ways to get involved here, far more than I realised, and they are extremely flexible too.

“My husband and I have a caravan and go off for a few weeks at a time, and as long as I let them know I won’t be around for a few weeks then they are absolutely fine about it. St Giles are just happy for the time that you can give them.

“The other area that I think St Giles is amazing at is training. It doesn’t matter whether you are a member of staff or a volunteer, there are courses that you can go on, as well as online training programmes. They really do invest in you – and coming from a HR background, I think that’s really valuable.

“If you are really looking to give something back to your community then you can be assured that volunteering at St Giles will give so much more back to you. The hospice does so much more than you think, so there is a huge range of opportunities to choose from.”

If you’ve been inspired by Jayne’s story and would like to know more about volunteering at St Giles, you can book onto a volunteer open session here. Plus, you can reach the team on 01543 434546 or email volunteer@stgileshospice.com.