Student volunteer Tom at St Cuthbert’s Hospice shares his story.

Categories: Education and People & Places.

Tom volunteers with St Cuthbert’s Hospice on a Wednesday afternoon, supporting their Strength and Balance Group in the Living Well Centre, led by their Physiotherapist Jenny.

“I’m a student at Durham University studying Sport and Exercise Sciences and I found out about the Hospice after visiting a Volunteer Fair at the University where I got chatting with the Hospice Volunteer Services Team. I started volunteering in the autumn last year after coming back from studying in New Zealand. I want to become a Physiotherapist, so having the opportunity to join Jenny, the Physiotherapist here, and see what she does, couldn’t be much better. I’m gaining so much experience which will help my applications to study in the future.

The Strength and Balance group welcomes people for a 10-week programme. We normally meet everyone in the afternoon, head over to the Hospice Gym for our exercises and then have our coffee break afterwards in the Hub, and have a good chat.  We do things like circuits with weights and use the gym equipment and we recently did Tai Chi and a relaxation session, which relaxed me as much as the Guests!

It’s really nice to get away from Uni and integrate into the local community and speak to people and everyone is so nice here. All of the volunteers are lovely too and getting to know them has been amazing.

Students get time off on a Wednesday afternoon, so it was spare time I had anyway and these couple of hours a week have turned into a highlight of my week.

There’s such a nice vibe here, at first, I thought is it going to feel sad, but it doesn’t at all. Our group is so positive, and we spend a lot of time chatting and laughing.

Getting to hear people’s stories and seeing the difference coming along to the group has made for some of the Guests, are the most memorable moments for me.

The work experience element of volunteering has been incredible too, I’ve been able to shadow Jenny in the group and I’ve also now done a day shadowing her on the In-Patient Unit, as well as going out into the Community on a Home Visit.

Oh, and finally the Hospice café is amazing! I would highly recommend a visit!”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer, please visit 💚

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