Cornwall Hospice Care volunteer stories

There are so many ways to get involved by being a volunteer with Cornwall Hospice Care. We’d like to introduce some of the inspirational people that make a difference to Cornwall Hospice Care and to the patients and families we care for. They all have different roles across our charity and all make a huge difference to the work we do – watch, read and listen to their volunteer stories.

Inspired?  Find out about our volunteer roles here.  Want to chat to someone about how your experience and skills can make a difference?  Drop an email to or call 01726 65711 and ask for the Volunteering team.

Are you a volunteer with us?  We’d like to add more volunteer stories – could you tell yours?  Get in touch!

volunteer stories

Volunteer stories – Trish and Kate – Shop volunteers

Our Penzance Town charity shop is just one of around 30 shops we operate across Cornwall and here’s where you’ll find Trish and Kate beavering away in the stock room, getting donated items ready to go out on the shop floor for sale.
We asked them why they decided to volunteer, what it means to them and what they get out of gifting their time to us.

Volunteer stories – Adrian – Ward volunteer

Adrian’s volunteer story began in 2015 when he joined the Cornwall Hospice Care team as a Ward Volunteer at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell. He’s a keen cyclist and often rides to his volunteering shifts with us and has even taken part in our Coast & Clay Sportive cycle event!

What were you doing before you became a volunteer?
I was the director for research at the Economic and Social Research Council.

What inspired you to become a volunteer?
I moved to Cornwall and was looking for a volunteering opportunity to give something back to this wonderful county.
One of my college friends was cared for at a hospice before he died and said how well he was treated.

What do you get personally from being a volunteer?
I love being a small part of a great team that regularly work miracles in bringing back, though sadly not to cure, those with terminal conditions, to some quality of life in the precious time they have left.

The opportunity to be involved in something really special and appreciated – a timely cup of tea, a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday, even a football match.

Our role is a small one but I think we volunteer to make a difference.

Volunteer stories – Mike – Hospice reception volunteer

Mike joined the Cornwall Hospice Care team in 2017 and covers volunteer shifts on our reception desk at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice – it’s a key role as our reception volunteers are often the friendly face that people see when they first arrive at our hospices.

What were you doing before you became a volunteer?
I was employed by a large company, where 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.

What inspired you to become a volunteer?
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 do you get personally from being a volunteer?
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.

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.

mike hospice reception volunteer mount edgcumbe hospice

Volunteer stories – Judith – Ward volunteer

Judith joined the Cornwall Hospice Care team in 2000 and is a volunteer on the ward at St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle, so she will be helping to serve meals and drinks, look after flowers in patient’s rooms and lots more.

What were you doing before you became a volunteer?
I spent 28 years in the City of London working at senior management level in human resources within investment banks.  My late husband and I came to Cornwall in 2000 to escape the pressures of corporate life. We bought a renovation project with land and spent 6 years developing it into a luxury B & B.

I entered MasterChef in 2000 and was a South West finalist! So with that behind me I was confident I wasn’t going to poison my guests and we offered dinner as well as B & B. Sadly in May 2006, completely out of the blue, my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He was one of the fittest people you could meet – ran marathons.  I nursed him at home as was his wish and he died on 1st September that year.

What inspired you to become a volunteer, and what do you get out of it?
My reason for wanting to volunteer and what I get out of volunteering is quite simple and really the same. I just like to feel that I’m helping in some small way. St. Julia’s Hospice is such a special place with the most wonderful, caring staff and it is a real privilege to be part of the team, albeit in a very minor way.

Volunteer stories – podcasts

Our podcast “Two Old Choughs: A Tale of Two Hospices” also shares volunteer stories and celebrates the contribution our volunteers make every day.

Listen to episode 15 of our podcast – A Sense of Purpose featuring volunteers Pauline, Sue and Annette along with Frazer Hopkins, our Head of Retail.

Listen to episode 7 of our podcast – Stories of Little Miracles featuring Mount Edgcumbe Hospice volunteers, Adrian and Mike.

Two Old Choughs Podcast Image

See all of our podcast episodes and other hospice stories here.

You can also find our podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn and other popular podcast platforms.

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