If I could do it more often, I would – Kim’s story
Kim Martin is one of our brilliant volunteers. Here she talks about the joy of being part of the team that gives families the best possible care when they visit Rachel House and why she wants to do it more often and #doitforCHAS.
“I volunteer twice a week for CHAS at Rachel House Children's Hospice. As a nursing support volunteer, I help the nursing team with a variety of tasks. These vary from helping with the children's personal care (washing and dressing etc.) and housekeeping tasks like stripping the beds when the children are going home. I spend time with siblings and this could be simply playing with the children, reading stories or taking part in activities.
“It’s a relatively new role and it’s nice being able to work with lots of different members of staff and getting to know them better, and the children and families. It means for a little while I am able to help families who are going through challenging times. I feel honoured to be allowed in by the families during these times and to share their happy moments too – and there are many of them in Rachel House. I can also help to take a little bit of the weight off the staff so they can focus on the most important tasks.
“I volunteer because I think it's important to give something back to the community, and I can't think of anything more rewarding to do in my spare time than to come to Rachel House.
“Volunteering here also gives me the opportunity to refresh and strengthen my previous support work skills, with the added bonus of working with a really supportive, great bunch of people. It's a difficult job to do day in and day out and I think the atmosphere here at Rachel House is that of a family, with every area working together and supporting each other in order to provide the best level of care.
“I feel really honoured to have been given the opportunity to be a small part of that and to be able to work alongside people that have an amazing wealth of knowledge.
“I've learned that no matter how inconsequential something may seem to the outside world, it can mean so much more in Rachel House. Simple things like asking a family member if they would like a cup of tea, or what they have planned for the day, or perhaps how they have slept, it means a lot to those who very rarely have time to focus on themselves. I’ve also learned that one of the best things to do on a Thursday morning is getting beaten at table football by two siblings! A little smile, a blink of an eye, a chuckle of laughter and thumbs up, can mean more than a thousand spoken words.
"For me personally, volunteering here is not simply about me giving my time, it's about me being given the opportunity to be constantly learning, and developing skills and knowledge.
“It may sound cliché, but my experience of volunteering is that whatever I give to the role I'm rewarded tenfold, and if I could do it more often I would!”
Photo: Paul Hampton