2017 marks the 40th year of St Columba’s Hospice
As part of our year-long programme of activities to mark four decades since we opened our doors to patients and families, we are publishing staff blogs from lots of members of our staff team at the Hospice.
How long have you worked at the Hospice for?
I have now been a steward with the Hospice for 15 months and I can honestly say that after a variety of different jobs through my working life, the Hospice has to be one of, if not the most enjoyable roles I have ever had.
Tell us about your role at the Hospice?
My role at the Hospice is a very varied one. As a steward in the facilities department there are never two days the same. From providing security for all staff, patients, visitors, volunteers and the building itself, ensuring health and safety is being adhered to at all times, providing a service to every department no matter what the task may entail – we do lots. We also do the alarm and fire alarm checks; test the water and heating; provide maintenance for items including the beds, boilers, walking frames; and all general joinery, plumbing and electrical works.
How does your role as a steward help patients and families?
Our duties are very much behind the scenes without too much interaction with the patients and families however I would like to think that by making sure all the rooms are well lit, heated to the patient’s comfort, that all equipment is in working order, and ensuring the grounds are kept clean and tidy – that it all adds up to patients and families comfort and expectations.
What would surprise people about your role?
I think people would be surprised by the variety of our role. Many people may think that a steward deals with the alarms and security but as I have already talked about we deal with everything to keep the Hospice up and running from a maintenance point of view, and we are always on our guard to expect the unexpected and remain pro-active at all times.
What is it like working at the Hospice?
Working in the Hospice is an absolute privilege. In the past a Hospice was known as being a sad, dark place to be but that could not be further from the truth. It is a very upbeat place to be with a wonderful happy atmosphere. The one thing I learned very quickly when I started working here was the amount of different departments. Stewards, kitchen staff, domestic/housekeeping, nursing staff, day hospice staff, fundraising, office, education and volunteers. Although each department has a very individual role to play I love the fact that we all work as one big family, pulling together and striving to make the Hospice the best it can be. I have never met so many people in the one place who actually love their jobs and do it with a smile on their faces.
What do you like doing in your own time?
I enjoy going to my local bowling club for a small refreshment or two, meeting up with friends and watching football whilst checking my coupon. I started going to the gym about five months ago in which I have managed to lose almost 2 stone in weight so I’m very happy with that, but I’ve still got a bit to go yet. I also love spending time with my best friend in the whole wide world, my dog Max (Border Terrier) and obviously my wife and two daughters.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The highest accolade I could give the Hospice is that I lost my mother nearly two years ago to cancer and I only wish she could have spent her last days in the comfort and care of the staff at St Columba’s Hospice, such is the respect I have for everyone who works here and the beautiful surroundings.