Diana Davies (78) began volunteering for Hospiscare nearly 27 years ago when the hospice in Exeter had just opened. Her husband, Rex, worked on reception at the time so she decided to get involved by volunteering.
“I lost both my parents to cancer so I knew I wanted to give something back to the Charity,” says Di. “I started by serving drinks at the coffee bar, then I moved on to giving patients massages, flower arranging and helping out on reception when they needed me.”
During her time at the charity, Di worked as a nurse in the hospice providing support and covering shifts when she was needed. “I really enjoyed working as a nurse for Hospiscare. It gave me the opportunity to see first-hand what the charity does and how it helps people in the community. There’s so much support, not just for the patient but for their friends and families too.
“I’ve also been a member of the Pinhoe and Broadclyst Friends of Hospiscare Group for many years. I’ve done all sorts of fundraising events with the support group; bucket collections, coffee mornings and cake sales. With the help of the group, I organised a fair in Exeter Guildhall a few weeks ago which raised over £3,000!”
Di has a strong connection with the charity as it supported her through the death of two sisters who died at the Hospice in Exeter. “It’s a cause that’s very close to my heart,” Di explains. “I’ve had cancer myself recently which has meant I had to take a break from volunteering but I’m in remission and glad to get stuck back in. I’ve had a lot of experience with the charity and they provide wonderful support to patients, family members, volunteers and staff.
Di has enjoyed many volunteering roles at Hospiscare but four years ago, she found her true passion as a sorting assistant at the Hospiscare Warehouse. “I was in the Hospiscare Exeter Warehouse with the Fundraising Support Group to pick up some items for a fair we were organising when someone asked me if I wanted to volunteer in the warehouse helping to sort donations. It hadn’t occurred to me to try sorting donations but I decided to give it a go and I’ve loved it ever since!”
Di volunteers every Wednesday and Thursday, helping to sort the arts and crafts, haberdashery, and jewellery donations. “The jewellery takes a lot of patience as it can often get very tangled. I sort through it all and package it up, ready to be sent to the Hospiscare shops to sell.
“I love volunteering! Some weeks I can’t wait to come in and I’ll often do a little extra if needed. The staff in the warehouse are so lovely and welcoming, and it’s great fun. It’s also nice to know I’m helping raise money for an important and worthwhile cause.”
Are you interesting in volunteering at the Hospiscare Warehouse? We’d love you to come along and give it a try. Pop into the Warehouse Shop at 2 Trusham Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter or call 01392 428824 for more information.
Hospiscare is a local adult hospice charity, providing high quality care and support to people with any type of terminal illness, and those close to them, in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps to ensure the future of the charity in Devon for generations to come.