Katie, Bereavement Support Volunteer
“It’s such a special place and it always feels wonderful working alongside the team who are so devoted to their work”
Katie is a shining example of how to let your passion shape your destiny. Mum of two, Katie swapped her career in architecture for a role in care. Inspired by the nursing teams who looked after her mum in Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit, and by the healthcare professionals who saved her daughter’s life in Bristol Children’s Hospital, Katie wanted to give something back. So since November 2020, she’s been volunteering at Rowcroft Hospice, and alongside her voluntary work she’s training to be a dental nurse.
“I felt I wanted to help in some way,” says Katie. “I wanted to give something back – to say thank you to Rowcroft for looking after my mum at the end of her life and providing her with such good care.
“So I started volunteering in Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit initially on reception. My role was interesting and varied and involved many different tasks, including greeting visitors, answering the phone and signing patients in and out; and helping in the Inpatient Unit by serving patients food and beverages and collecting the trays afterwards, maintaining the washroom by ensuring surfaces are washed and wiped down, and helping with recording patient details on forms.
“I now volunteer within the Bereavement Support Team as I’ve recently completed a training course at the hospice on how to offer listening and bereavement support to patients’ relatives and friends. The training course was amazing and delved into great depths which was challenging but so rewarding. I’ll be providing support to people at a time in their life where words may not come easily and nothing makes a lot of sense. At a time that someone has lost or feels they are losing their sense of self. To be able to listen to their words and to hear their voice in that moment is a precious gift and I feel privileged to have been given such an incredible opportunity.
“It has been such a pleasure to volunteer at Rowcroft. It’s a special place and it always feels wonderful working alongside the team who are so devoted to their work, and it feels great being part of the dedicated care they provide.
“I’ve realised through my journey in life that unless we care about others, nothing is going to get better – it’s not. It’s important to take time to care – even if you think you haven’t got the time, you can find it. Take time also to care for yourself and what’s important to you, even if it’s something small, because it’s often the small things that can make all the difference.”