Loosing a loved one motivates couple for over five years of volunteering

Share this story

Female nurse and male and female holding certificates and female all looking at the camera

Sue and Keith Parish have been volunteering for the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre for over five years and recently received a certificate for their generous contributions of their time.

They both have a personal and emotive reason for volunteering. Sue’s previous partner used to visit the Living Well Service (previously called the Day Therapy Unit), in Wisbech before he passed away at The Inpatient Unit at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity [which the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre is part of] in Cambridge. Keith and his wife were also supported by Arthur Rank Hospice Charity Services before she died.

Sue commented:

“The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre was fantastic for my [previous] partner. When I first heard about it I dreaded it but the staff were so good and he used to love it. He made little Christmas decorations and things. But as a Carer, I can it see from that side too – and it just gives Carers that little break, you know, because it is difficult.”

“At that time I had to take my partners son to Senior School, in March, in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. I would leave my partner with his phone, but it would be a worry-  but here, it took off that worry.”

“The volunteering just came on from that once he passed away. Unfortunately, I can’t do as much as I’d like to at the moment with working, but it’s just carrying on the good work and supporting them.“

Keith explained:

“I was impressed by the way they really looked after my [previous] wife. Although she chose to die at home, she used to go in for the treatments and therapies, and they supported me really well as well. Even after she died, they contacted myself and the family which was lovely.”

How do you volunteer? What kind of thing do you do?

Sue shared:

“We like going to the shops and supermarkets – especially Morrisons, they were brilliant.

So many people approach us. Well, you’re not allowed to rattle the bucket, are you? Even £20 notes will go in which, I couldn’t believe it at the start but it’s, ‘Oh, well, they helped my Nan’ or ‘family member’ and yeah, they just appreciated it and popped it in and had a chat. We’ve even got a card machine now too! They like to tell you about a patient that came in here.”

Keith continued:

“By volunteering we get the self-satisfaction knowing what we’ve given up our time for has helped other people. I certainly recommend it.”

Sue agreed:

“Because we’ve already used the service, we can appreciate it possibly more than if someone had never heard of the Centre. It’s just getting the word out there, really.”

If you would like to volunteer for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, please visit the Volunteer vacancies page: arhc.org.uk/join-us/volunteer-opportunities