“Everybody has gone through some tough stuff, if you scratch the surface of anyone’s life,” Moira reckons.
Moira’s journey with Mary Potter Hospice began in 2000 when her father-in-law became ill. Sadly, a few years later, her husband Nick was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“Nick chose to pass away in the Inpatient Unit. He was there for about four days. We got such amazing care during that time. Everybody – from the staff, volunteers and cleaners – treated him, me and our adult sons such great respect and compassion.”
“The way they treated us and how they made us feel never left me.”
It wasn’t long after Nick passed away that Moira had the idea to give something back to the Hospice. However, she knew she needed some time before she could volunteer. “Seven years after Nick died, I thought, ‘You know what, I can go back into that building’.”
“Like many other volunteers, I have a personal connection to the Hospice and really wanted to give back to an organisation which has given so much.” Moira began helping with the drinks trolley and dinner service regularly. More recently, she has become a community companion volunteer. Companions are matched with patients in the community and spend time with them regularly, offering non-medical support and company.
“I have learnt some of the best jokes in the Hospice and have had some of the best laughs.” “People do presume the Hospice is a sad place, but it isn’t. When I take the drinks trolley and dinner service around, we often have a laugh. It’s the same when spending time with my companion.”
“I often think, ‘Gosh, I wish people who don’t know about the Hospice could see this’. Everyone is often too focused on living to think much about dying.”
Being able to see the work of Hospice staff up close was also special, Moira says.
“The staff have a twinkle in their eye. They are so humble and so patient. It can’t be an easy job, but they work so hard to make sure each patient and their family is cared for.”
Anyone who is thinking about volunteering time should talk to the Hospice, Moira says. She doesn’t think anyone would regret it.
“It is such a privilege to give time here. Sometimes it isn’t easy and sometimes you become friendly with people who pass away.” “Whenever I leave here, I am reminded to hug my loved ones a little bit tighter.
“It is such a special place.”