All this week we are celebrating our amazing volunteers by sharing their stories with the wider community. We want everyone to know just how much we appreciate every single person who gives us their time and skills to help us improve local lives and we want to say a big thank you to each and every one of our volunteers.
We would like to introduce you to Natalie Woods, who has volunteered in our reception for over 5 years. She says that working on the reception still inspires her every day and the hospice has become a part of her everyday life, and we are so pleased that she feels this way.
Natalie’s role involves greeting patients and their guests, as well as other visitors to the hospice and ensuring that their needs are met as soon as they arrive. She also answers phone calls and emails in a swift and friendly manner; arranges meetings; collects donations; and completes many administrative tasks. She is the constantly smiling and warm person who initially represents St Andrew’s Hospice and makes our patients and clients feel prioritised and welcomed. Her fellow workers describe her as “friendly and approachable” and we would like to express our thanks for the outstanding customer service skills she shows every time she is with us. It really is important to us that we make a good first impression, putting visitors’ minds at rest and showing our compassionate approach from the very first moment, and Natalie puts this at the heart of her work.
Natalie supported her mum when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was this experience that inspired her to join us at the hospice, as she discovered the supportive approach and nice environment we provide for our patients. This helped her make the decision to begin volunteering, as she wanted to give back to a place that helped her so much. She told me that “you never know when you will need help yourself”. Natalie says that she still enjoys the role so much, even after all these years, because she is asked different questions every day, which makes her position interesting and she enjoys being helpful.
Natalie has a very active family life which includes her husband Mike, four children and three dogs. Even the unknown nature of the current Coronavirus pandemic has not stopped her volunteering every week. She claims that “she enjoys volunteering and that she sees no need to stop. St Andrew’s Hospice is flexible and supportive and can always suit volunteer hours to suit me.”
When asked what advice she would give potential volunteers, Natalie offered the simple advice of “go for it”. She feels that her time at St Andrew’s Hospice has given her a lot back, including boosting her confidence.
We would like to thank Natalie again for all the time and dedication she has shown to the hospice over the years. It is wonderful for our patients to have a familiar smiling face to count on when they need our help, and we appreciate all her help too!
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