I’ve been a volunteer driver at Dorothy House for three years. My main job is to pick up patients from home and bring them to and from the hospice and outreach centres, and the hydrotherapy centre in Frome, but I also collect blood and drugs from the hospital. Also, if a patient’s family need to be here but they can’t drive, I collect them. When I’m not driving, I help out at events, stewarding at the Santa Dash and the Moonlight Walk, for instance.
I do up to three and half days a week, but it’s up to me really. I drive the same people quite often which is really nice. I’ve driven one lady for two years, now.
I was a plumbing and heating engineer for 48 years, and I had back problems. At first I thought I didn’t want to retire, but I knew it was the right thing. I didn’t want to be sat at home in my retirement, so when someone gave me the number for Dorothy House I gave them a call, and here I am.
Friends say it must be depressing, working for a hospice but it really isn’t. It’s a lovely place to work. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person here I didn’t like. I get feedback from the patients – what goes on here is wonderful. I’m one of seven children and one of my sisters was treated here. I just feel I’m giving something back.
Quite a few of the volunteers are widows and widowers, and they like the social side of meeting everyone. All the other volunteers are lovely. It just feels like a big family.
In my spare time, I keep busy. I’ve bought a violin which I’m going to learn, I belong to U3A and I read a lot. I’m also involved in campaigning against knife crime.