When Saint Francis Hospice cared for someone close to Harry James, the twenty-five year old from Brentwood set his heart on volunteering.
Jim Hearn, who was the grandad of Harry's girlfriend, had suffered from multiple strokes. He was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for twelve months until he agreed to come to our Hospice.
"For the first time in a year, Jim wasn't screaming in pain when nurses moved him," Harry remembered. "They were so kind. The care he received was just perfect."
Since April, Harry has been volunteering on our ward — tending to our patients and easing the pressure on our nurses who are working tirelessly to halt the spread of COVID-19.
"It makes me feel brilliant knowing that I'm helping people," he said. "The Hospice puts a smile on my face. I know that when my shift is done, that I've done something with my day."
Currently working on the admin side of a private healthcare company, Harry is looking for a career in care.
"Saint Francis Hospice has inspired me to do that," he revealed. "All of my friends have been supportive and admire what I'm doing."
While Harry admitted that it could have been easy to build a misconception of our Hospice as a gloomy place, he decided to put assumptions to one side and judge for himself. He is encouraging others to do the same:
"If you come here with an open mind, then you'll reap the rewards."
If you'd like to find out more about how you can make a difference to our patients' lives by volunteering, then we'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01708 758614.