It’s a little bit like waiting for a bus, you wait for ages and then two come at once. Well, here’s my second blog post, just 24 hours after the first.
The good news today is that the volunteer gardeners are back from their winter break. Hooray! For the last three months it has been a bit lonely working away in the large hospice gardens with no-one to talk to. I don’t mind being on my own, but it is always nice to have someone to chat to and to bounce ideas off. It also means that you can accomplish a lot in a short space of time.
There is big building project about to start at the hospice. They are updating the rooms to make them more dementia friendly and a bit more modern, and there is to be an extension to improve the nurses working area. So today we dug up a load of plants that were going to be built on and moved them to other areas. We moved primroses, hellebores, monbretia and some rudbeckia. We managed to replant some, but have left others for later in the week.
Volunteering is so important for all parties. The hospice relies on its volunteers for all manner of jobs. In total there are over 800 people volunteering for the hospice. They garden, they work in the charity shops, they drive, help serve the dinners to patients, they fundraise and help to man the welcome desk to name but just a few of the jobs. Hospices wouldn’t be financially viable without the volunteers.
But volunteering also benefits the volunteer…
- It is good for your mind by helping reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and by increasing happiness
- It can be good for your body (especially gardening)
- It connects you with others, helping to prevent isolation and allows you to make new friends
- It gives a sense of purpose, by being able to help others. Many, by but by no means all, of the volunteers at the hospice have experienced bereavement at some point and have benefited from the services that the hospice provides. By volunteering they are able to give something back.
So I want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who volunteers, especially to those at Wigan and Leigh Hospice who help me in the gardens…. THANK YOU!