Grandmother Janet Day is celebrating ten years as a volunteer at South Bucks Hospice – after the charity counselled her following treatment for cancer.

What started Janet’s connection with South Bucks Hospice? In 2007, after Janet was diagnosed with Cancer and her GP recommended one of the counsellors at the hospice because they dealt with people with life-limiting illnesses. Janet says that was among the best pieces of advice she ever received. She went there once a week for counselling – and also received alternative therapy, reiki and reflexology.

What prompted her to volunteer? At the end of the six weeks, Janet felt the counselling very beneficial and felt she could launch herself back into life with a strategy of how she could cope. She spoke to the senior nurse at the time and said she would like to help and volunteer but had to wait for a year after her all clear and then come back. Janet did so in 2009 and has been volunteering ever since.

She spent the first five years as a volunteer helping with fundraising and street collections, then applied for the vacant unpaid post of Monday receptionist in 2014 – and has done that job ever since.

Janet says “I felt I was saying thank you by volunteering because the hospice had done so much for me with the counselling.  You come in to the hospice and you are a person in your own right, a name – you are not a disease or a hospital number or an appointment. That’s how I think people ought to be treated and I try to do that on reception.”

What does volunteering mean to Janet personally?  She says “I have received and am hopefully giving back and can say with first-hand knowledge how important the hospice really is to the community.”

South Bucks Hospice is still in need of further volunteers with all different types of skills and from all walks of life. To see whether volunteering at South Bucks Hospice is for you, please contact Michael Cole at volunteers@sbhospice.org.uk  or call 01494 552764

Updated on November 11, 2019

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society