Liz’s story: My 25-year volunteering journey

Liz Hodge has been a Hospiscare volunteer for over 25 years and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Liz has continued to support our clinical team

An elderly woman wearing glasses sitting in a chair

After losing several relatives to cancer, Liz decided to volunteer at lunch time in our day hospice. Liz’s volunteering journey expanded from there and she has since volunteered for our bereavement team, on our ward at Searle House and in the community as a Care Navigator.

Liz has been a Care Navigator for the past six years, a role that involves visiting our patients at home and helping them with everyday tasks. Liz has supported an elderly lady for the past three years and explains, “It is an absolute bonus visiting her. She’s so interesting to talk to as she has lived such an amazing life. Since the pandemic, she hasn’t been able to go out so I sit with her for a few hours each week to chat, do a bit of housework and take walks in her garden.”

During the height of the pandemic, Liz wasn’t able to continue in her role as Care Navigator due to the restrictions in place but she continued volunteering for our listening service. Liz says, “We support people over the telephone who have suffered a bereavement. The other bereavement services weren’t able to continue during the pandemic so the listening service has been a lifeline for a lot of people who are struggling.”

Liz has been by the side of many Hospiscare patients and their families during her time at Hospiscare and explains, “Everybody is so individual and we’ve had a lot of laughs, in spite of all of the difficult times. The great thing about Hospiscare is that it doesn’t just treat the patient, it treats the whole family and I think that’s so important. The hospice is always there for them and there is always support after a patient has died. That is very comforting.”

Liz reflects on her 25 years of volunteering and why she has stayed by our charity’s side, saying “Volunteering keeps me going. We’re all going to die at some point and we don’t know when we’ll need Hospiscare.

“I have such respect for Hospiscare. The amount of compassion I’ve seen from the staff is incredible. Nothing is ever too much trouble for the nurses and I’ve seen doctors sitting by patients’ beds holding their hands. These patients are going through so much and Hospiscare is a peaceful place for them. They can die with dignity and with their family around them and that means an awful lot.”