Could you be a Foyle Hospice hero?

John Bell.
John Bell.

The Foyle Hospice is appealing for volunteers.

Sharon Williams, Volunteer Services Coordinator with the charity, said that currently they are actively recruiting new volunteers in multiple roles.

‘The hospice’s volunteer community is invaluable,” she said. “United in their commitment, through acts of kindness and compassion, their time is dedicated to offering a personalised service that changes the lives of people living with a life-limiting illness and the lives of their families.’

Danny Moore.

Danny Moore.

Sharon encouraged local people to be inspired by the stories of some of the hospice volunteers who are already committing time to the charity.

“We have many roles that will suit people’s level of commitment whether it is in direct or indirect patient care. To guarantee that you get the most from your volunteering experience I will match your skills and interest to available opportunities ensuring that you receive the appropriate training and support.’

For more information contact Sharon on 71 351010 ext 230

John bell, yoga instructor, day hospice

Caroline McCallion

Caroline McCallion

What volunteering work do you do for Foyle Hospice?

I teach chair based yoga similar to what I teach in the studio – I carry the message of yoga which means body, mind, spirit and emotions. Every Tuesday I spend 45 minutes with the Day Hospice patients encouraging them to think of themselves, so that they are taking care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally by incorporating visualisation and where possible movement. A lot of what the patients learn they can practice at home and for some it has made a difference to their independence and confidence.

What encouraged you to volunteer?

I have been volunteering in different places for 12 years because I feel it’s important to help others. I started in the hospice around February time this year after Teresa McGowan, the Day Hospice Manager approached me. Teresa heard that I had been working with a patient at home and in the In-Patient Unit and asked me to teach the patients in Day Hospice. In fact I completed my teacher training in the hospice many years ago and it’s amazing to think that now the hospice and patients trust me with such a privileged role.

What does your volunteering work mean to you?

I can honestly say working with the patients adds to my life. I feel real gratitude when I’ve been to the hospice it lifts me and humbles me. The patients are simply amazing and hearing what they get out of their practice keeps me coming back every week. They describe feelings of freedom, inner peace, calmness, relaxation and independence.

The people that I meet at the hospice, patients and staff, add to my practice.

Tell us about Yoga in the Park

I’ve fundraised for various charities in the past through Yoga in the Park but I thought this year I’d give

it a miss. 
But when Dr. Abbott told me that a couple of the patients had asked that the clinic not interrupt their Tuesday yoga I thought I want to do more by raising some money for Day Hospice. It was a great day and we even managed most of it without rain although someone very kindly donated over 100 ponchos! 
The event raised £1,200 that will be used for patients.

Caroline McCallion – Shop Assistant – Outlet Store

What is it that you do for Foyle Hospice?

I volunteer in the outlet Store in Springtown. My job is to sort donations making sure that the clothes are steamed, sorted and priced. I also work the till, answer telephone queries and customer queries on the shop floor.

How long are you volunteering?

I started here over a year ago, at the moment I work two half days but I’m flexible so if Sarah Jane needs help another day I’m happy to come in and give a hand.

What encouraged you to volunteer?

Before I started here I was with Foyle New Horizons three days a week which gave me a routine to my week which I really needed. I suffer from clinical depression, bipolar and SAD, so regular volunteering helps maintain a routine for me which is particularly important during the winter months. It was Valerie from Action Mental Health who introduced me to volunteering with the hospice.

Do you get anything from you volunteer work?

I get so much from my time here. It gives structure to my week giving me a reason to get up in the morning and the social aspect of it is really important. My self-confidence has grown as I have learned new skills such as till work and dealing with customers and with the public on the phone. I have been involved in volunteering with different organisations over the years and what I’ve discovered is that I get a lot more from my volunteering work than I put in.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?

Just do it you’ll get so much from it, you will get all the training that you need so there’s nothing to worry about. 
On the weekends I care for my Mum who recently had a stroke but my volunteer work with the hospice is then my own time – it is very precious to me.

Danny Moore, volunteer gardener

What volunteering work do you do for Foyle Hospice?

I signed up just to help out, so far that has meant helping with a fundraising event, a cyclist reception and working in the gardens.

I’m a recent recruit in that I just started a few weeks ago. I usually come down on a Tuesday when the rest of the team are here but if I have a spare hour I just come any day because there’s always something to be done.

In the past I have fundraised for the hospice because it’s our hospice, it’s a local charity and now that I have time on my hands since retiring I thought I could put that time to good use. 
My time down here saves the hospice money and the gardens are really important to the patients and to their families.

What does your volunteering work mean to you?

I enjoy the craic with the other volunteers and the staff. It gives you a lift knowing that you’ve done something for someone else that is some way makes a difference to their life.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?

If you have time just do it, it’s so rewarding.