All this week we have been celebrating our volunteers and the amazing work they do at St Andrew’s Hospice and Andy’s Children’s Hospice. We couldn’t deliver the care we do without the help of every one of our team of volunteers, who span across the whole organisation, from reception, to catering, to household, to retail, to clinical and beyond.
Today we caught up with Cheryl Stevenson, who volunteers in the Communications Team two days a week. She is a crucial part of the team as her job is to write blog posts and case studies which showcase the hospice and the care we provide. She’s a fairly new member of the team, having only started in January 2020, but she’s quickly got to know not only her immediate colleagues, but many members of the wider hospice team.
Born in Grimsby, Cheryl lived here until she went to Lincoln University to study English and become a teacher. She worked in multiple secondary schools until recently, when she had to stop teaching because of ill health.
Cheryl is a keen writer, not only writing for St Andrew’s Hospice, but also volunteering at Hammond House writing groups. Cheryl chose to volunteer at the hospice because she wanted to give back to the hospice after the support her family received in the last days of her father’s life. She explains “I lost my dad 5 years ago to bowel cancer and it was his wish to pass away in the hospice and not at home.”
She is a very personable, friendly and supportive person, which are all really important traits when interviewing staff, patients and family members. She says another reason she chose to volunteer was because she also wanted to help others receive the support that had been offered to her – “there is a lot of support in the world if people need it’. Her positive outlook on life and selflessness comes across so clearly when she is interviewing people who choose to share their story with the hospice. She has the ability to make even the shyest people blossom out of their shells and feel at ease.
Having had her own personal health challenges Cheryl explains that the hospice has helped her adjust to a new way of life and is a supportive, caring and compassionate place. She really enjoys interviewing people and sharing their stories. She also believes that volunteering for the hospice has helped her recover too.
Her one piece of advice to anyone thinking of volunteering is to “Do it. Take the first step. It is a hard step to take but everyone will be so welcoming and warm towards you that you will not regret it for a second”.
She has two pet cats called Jaffa & Beth
She has been to Graceland and was interviewed on TV, although she doesn’t like Elvis Presley that much (sorry Elvis fans).
Her star sign is Aries.