Mike's story

Mike joined the Cornwall Hospice Care team in 2017

When I was asked recently by Jenny Wilkins, Volunteer Coordinator at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice, why I volunteered and what I got out of it, I found the first part of that question very hard and I had to give it a lot of thought before I was able to come up with an answer, which actually turned out to be quite simple: when I was employed by a large company, I was expected to give well over 100%, for which I would be paid as little as they could get away with.

However, volunteering is exactly the opposite. Now I have retired from the corporate world, I can give my time freely, work as little or as much as I want and, because I am a volunteer, people actually say THANK YOU, the most rewarding pay packet you can get!

What I get out of volunteering is much easier to answer. I am a bank reception volunteer at the Hospice, which means that I don’t have a regular shift, but I cover other volunteers’ holidays and illness, which means that some weeks (very rarely) I have no shifts, yet others, I can work up to three. My job is to meet and greet patients, visitors and staff and answer incoming telephone calls and direct them to the right people, but I also get lots of “Could you do this for me?”, “Would you call me a taxi?”, “Help, my car won’t start” and a hundred and one other little diversions that happen on every shift, but I love every minute of it.

The very nature of the Hospice means that there will be some sad moments, but the atmosphere in Mount Edgcumbe is always calm, caring, friendly and totally professional. The support that the volunteers get from the staff is wonderful and there is always someone to answer my questions if I can’t answer them myself. I really look forward to every shift that I work and no two are ever the same. I

If you have a few hours a week to spare and want to volunteer for a really worthwhile charity, then come and join me and all the other volunteers, both on the reception desk or on the wards, and test out my theory that thanks are more rewarding than a pay packet.

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