I started as a volunteer in the Hospice 16 years ago. I used to run a playgroup, then I saw a piece in the paper about St Columba’s Hospice and my children were getting a wee bit older so I just phoned up and that was it! I’ve been volunteering in the Iona Café ever since. At the time that I started we used to go round the wards as well but now the café has been updated since the rebuild.
I just come in and serve visitors and patients who come in looking for a cup of tea and a smile, sometimes a chat, sometimes not. It depends – sometimes people get some light relief from coming in as they’ve maybe been sitting round a bed for ages, so they come in to relax. My father-in-law was in the Hospice for only two nights and still in that time managed to find relief.
The best part is the good friendly team – I enjoy being part of the team. My normal slot is once a fortnight but recently I’ve been in once a week and occasionally I help with the staff canteen when they’re short. I help other times if required, I only live 20 minutes away.
When I’m not here I look after my grandchildren 2 days a week which is hectic! I play golf when I can and I do a lot of walking – I actually started a walking group here called the ‘Challenger Ramblers’! I organise one for our church as well. We’re very lucky where we are in Edinburgh there’s so many gorgeous walks in the surrounding area.