During National Palliative Care Week 2017 we started sharing stories from palliative care volunteers in NSW, collated by editor and palliative care biographer Ros Bradley over the last couple of months.
Ros asked volunteers if they would share an inspirational moment, a story of resilience, a transforming experience, a special poem, text, image or piece of music.
Along the way she spoke to some 60 of the 1,600 or so palliative care volunteers around the state, with 21 of them sending her contributions that gave us unique insights into their experiences, inspirations and inner life as volunteers.
Here is one of the stories. Thank you to all the volunteers who contributed.
A Light Switched On By Volunteering (by Christine)
I started my training at Calvary on 24th February 2014 and commenced on the wards on 7th April 2014. To begin with I felt quite nervous but I have to say it was like a light switch being turned on and it awakened something in me which I have never experienced before.
I love this job – meeting the patients and talking with them, their families, meeting other volunteers, hand and foot massaging and generally doing things to help around the hospital – I don’t care what I do as long as I can be here! In fact I enjoy it so much I am now volunteering on a Monday and Thursday. The patients are amazing and can teach us many things, and even though many of them are so ill, they have tremendous spirit. They make you appreciate the life you have and how lucky you are to have good health. I have met some truly wonderful people here. I will always have a fire in my belly for this job and hope that I will be blessed with good health to be able to continue volunteering for many years to come.