Today, as part of Volunteers' Week, we chat to Marilyn Jones.

As part of Volunteers' Week, we are shining the spotlight on our volunteers. Here we chat to Marilyn Jones, from Waltham, who is a day unit and in-patient volunteer.

Marilyn first had dealings with St Andrew’s in the early 1990s when her mother became ill and attended the day unit. For the last four to five years, her husband Barry was a respite and day unit patient.

The hospice has changed dramatically. The rooms in the new hospice are fantastic, and it isn’t like a medical environment at all – it’s like a hotel.

The Hub is marvellous; people should come in and help remove that horrible stigma of what a hospice is once and for all. People just think it’s a place where you go and don’t come back out of, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. They think hospices are grief-ridden and that’s not true. There’s so much assistance now, and you can come out feeling a lot better than you did when you went in.

Because I have gone through nursing two family members, I think I have an understanding of how patients feel and how they want to be treated. They are much more than a poorly person. We have a laugh and a joke, and it’s nice to have that rapport with them.

I did nursing and ran my own dwelling looking after people. When I retired, Barry became ill and I cared for him, so caring is just me. I like to be working and hands-on.

One of his last wishes was for me to work at the hospice and repay what they did for us. That was his last request and I’m thankful that I’ve achieved it. He would have been proud.

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