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Volunteers Jackie and Sharon had never met before COVID-19. When they put themselves forward, for a very different role, during lockdown they didn’t know they were about to become firm friends.
Jackie lives in Madingley and has three grown up daughters and two granddaughters.
She started volunteering at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in the Autumn of 2019 as a ‘Meet and Greet’ Volunteer. She explains:
“I was just getting into the role and learning faces and names of various people when COVID-19 plunged us into lockdown.
When the Voluntary Services Manager, Hannah Touhey was asking for volunteers to help with visitor testing at the Hospice in January 2020 I put myself forward. I wanted to help visitors be with their loved ones with as minimal risk as possible. It was amazing to witness how well received this was by all the visitors coming into the Hospice.
The other positive outcome of this was being able to be back in the Hospice environment and interact with other volunteers, especially Sharon with whom I shared my shift with.
From day one Sharon was friendly and approachable and we soon got an excellent routine going with the testing. I had never meet Sharon before and in between tests we had a good old chat putting the world to rights.
Sharon has now definitely become a firm friend and one very positive thing to come out of lockdown and volunteering for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.”
Sharon lives in Cambridge with her husband and three sons. She has been volunteering at the Hospice for more than 6 years. Sharon tells us more:
“I started volunteering when the Hospice was still at the site on Mill Road and worked on the Tea Bar. When the new Hospice opened at Shelford Bottom in 2016, I transferred to volunteering on the main Reception as lunchtime cover on Wednesdays.
Due to the lockdown in 2020 we were unable to volunteer doing our usual roles but then an opportunity came along to help with testing visitors to the Hospice and I signed up.
I enjoyed being part of a scheme that helped to move things is forward so that people could visit the Hospice safely and learning about the COVID-19 testing process.
By volunteering in this new role I met lots of different people – those visiting, people who work in the Hospice who I hadn’t met before and other volunteers, in particular my testing partner Jackie. We hit it off immediately and have become firm friends. When we were not concentrating on carrying out a test you could hear us chattering away.”