Myles goes the extra mile for the hospice!

In the pursuit of a career in medicine

Filling jugs of water. Serving hot dinners. Helping patients with their televisions! Just a few of the jobs on Myles’ list when he arrives at the Inpatient Unit each Thursday evening to volunteer his time. Aged just 18 and pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor, as a hospice volunteer Myles is gaining crucial skills and experience while he waits to begin a degree in medicine at Newcastle University this September. In this blog he gives an intriguing insight into his voluntary role.

Why volunteer?

“I have just finished studying the International Baccalaureate at Torbay Boys Grammar School. I chose to initially volunteer as I knew the work experience would be a great advantage for university interviews, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my role at Rowcroft and so decided to stay on as a volunteer.”

Myles’ shift

“I do a weekly meal-time shift on Thursday evenings. It’s a very easy routine to maintain and doesn’t take up too much time. I serve dinners, offer hot drinks and refill jugs of fresh water for patients, as well as other assorted activities.

“I also recently helped a patient to get his TV working while the nurses were busy. Though very simple, I would like to think that this moment is a clear example of the beneficial influence that I can have while volunteering at the hospice.”

Making a difference

“I would like to think that I’m helping with patients’ comfort in the hospice and their families’ experience when visiting, and supporting families and patients in coping during a very difficult time.”

A satisfying role

“I find it very satisfying when I manage to overcome difficulties such as communication issues with patients who are deaf, for example, as I feel that this is preparing me well for a future career around medicine, and allows me to help patients to feel better understood.”

Opportunities to learn

“I had the opportunity to shadow the doctors at Rowcroft a few months ago, and I found the whole experience very interesting. Learning about patients’ conditions in a more in-depth manner was fascinating to me, and the whole team was willing to go out of their way to help me learn as much as possible.”

A part of the Rowcroft team

“I really enjoy working in the team at Rowcroft as everyone is incredibly friendly and willing to support you in any way needed. I think the care provided at Rowcroft is excellent. While shadowing, I learned about the spiritual care available, and found that to be a unique option and perspective to end-of-life care that I hadn’t particularly considered.”

Volunteering at Rowcroft

Myles poses at the entranceway to the hospice

Myles standing outside the entrance to the hospice after a busy shift volunteering on the Inpatient Unit

“I would absolutely advise others to volunteer for the hospice. Whilst it may seem daunting and a big commitment, one session a week is very manageable, especially once you are into the routine of it. It is also very rewarding to volunteer at the hospice as you know that you can make a real difference to the lives of patients and their families.”

Further information about volunteering

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with Rowcroft, then please see our volunteers page here.

Blogs from other volunteers:

Please check out our volunteering opportunities.


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