National Volunteer’s Week: Bruce

June 18th, 2024

Sharing special moments

The two years I’ve been volunteering have been such a privilege. I like meeting people and have had some amazing conversations!

Bruce’s shares about his time as a volunteer with Mary Potter Hospice, “it came about because he heard a guy on the radio talking about the companion volunteer service. As I heard him talk about it, I thought that sounds pretty interesting, something I’d be quite interested in being involved in.

I’ve been involved in volunteering over the years with different organisations, but the idea of spending time with different people at the end of their lives, would be humbling and something I thought I might be able to contribute to.

I had good training and was soon paired up with a fantastic guy, a really really lovely chap. I knew him for about 5 months before he passed. But I felt like I had known him forever. And I wish I had known him longer. We just got on really well right from the start and chatted about all sorts of things, there was nothing we couldn’t discuss.

I remember saying to him at the beginning are there any things you don’t want to talk about, you know might be politics or religion or something like that. And he said nah my life’s coming to an end, I’ve had a good life and I’m keen to talk about whatever we talk about. So we had some amazing discussions over an hour or two and normally over coffee.

His wife would go out and leave us to it. We’d start a conversation and suddenly end up somewhere. It was very humbling to spend time in his home with him knowing that he was at the last chapter really. And he very much knew that and acknowledged that.

I remember saying to him one day, are you scared about dying? He replied no, I’ve had a good life, we’ve eight children and whole lot of grandchildren. He said he has a strong faith and so wasn’t scared. His biggest fear probably was how his wife was going to cope, we spoke at length about that.

I’ve been so lucky to have been matched, so perfectly, as a companion – we got on really well right from the first meeting, so it’s been lovely.

Since then I’ve been matched with other patients, and had other deep conversations. You get very close to the people your supporting, it’s very very sad when they pass – but the Hospice provides lots of support. What the companion volunteer service volunteers do is very hard at times, but it’s also filled with joy and many hours of important discussion. I feel very blessed!”

Thank you to our amazing volunteers who work with our patients, families and whānau, keep our shops operating and support our staff behind the scenes. Your time, skills, experience, fundraising and passion supports Mary Potter Hospice to offer our valuable services free of charge. We hope you enjoy volunteering with us as much as we enjoy working with you.

If whilst reading this you are interested in volunteering with Mary Potter Hospice, we’d love to hear from you! View our current volunteer vacancies here, or email with your enquiry.