Gloria Ellis has volunteered as a Buddy for the Dougie Mac since summer last year. Here, Gloria tells us about an average day in her life.
“One particular busy day for me is probably a Wednesday. The first thing on the day’s agenda is going to work in a Primary school, where I help out in the reception class. I thoroughly enjoy my morning, as I help the children to learn through play. It is very rewarding to watch them grown and develop and their little faces melt my heart! They are always really pleased to see me and I enjoy having conversations with them and lots of loves and cuddles.
I finish working at 12 and go back home to grab some lunch and let my dog, Max, out into the garden. Then it’s onwards to Silverdale to visit one of my patients, a lady with Down Syndrome. She’s a lovely lady but very poorly so I try to make my visit fun as we sit and colour and play with stickers. This week, we sang as we coloured and compared nails, as mine are long and painted. Next week, I’m going to take my nail polishes along and paint her nails a pretty colour too.
I usually leave her home at about 3pm, where I then travel to Dougie Mac hospice to provide support for a gentleman who is very poorly with dementia. When I arrive, his family are usually there and they always welcome me with a warm greeting and smiles, before leaving. I sit with him and we talk, watch TV or go for a little walk around the hospice. He often reminisces of days when he was in the marines and I enjoy listening and asking him questions. When the nurses bring in his tea, I try to help him so he is able to enjoy it. I then leave at around 5.45pm and head for home.
As all of my patients are very poorly, and some days understandably, they don’t feel like socialising, I always try my best to get a little smile and giggle out of them.
When I am not visiting patients, I spend many an hour talking on the phone to the carers.
I am very close to many of my patients and I thoroughly enjoy my time working for the hospice. It is such a rewarding job and I wish I had started doing this years ago. When I joined the team, I wanted to help and make a difference to the lives of people who are unfortunately extremely poorly. I would like to think my visits help them all in some way, even if I do talk too much! Throughout all of my training, I have been provided with lots of love, support and encouragement from our Manager, Pat Hamilton, who owing to her dedication, runs a fantastic service for patients and carers.”
If you’re interested in volunteering and have some time to give – whether that’s an hour a day or an hour a week – why not become a Buddy like Gloria? If you’re happy to provide companionship, this could be the role for you.
Please contact our Volunteer Resource Department on 01782 344332 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Take a look at our website for more of our volunteering opportunities: https://www.dmhospice.org.uk/work-with-us/volunteering-opportunities/.