Mary Scally has been a volunteer with the Otago Community Hospice for ten years in a number of different capacities.
“I think that’s one of the best things about volunteering with the Otago Community Hospice. There really is something for everyone and it’s possible to try a few different things to find the one that appeals the most. When I first started, there was a day Hospice programme that I helped out with. I also worked as a volunteer driver. Later, I volunteered in the kitchen and I’m now involved with the biography service.”
“I experienced a friend’s death before the Otago Community Hospice service was developed. I told myself that if there was a Hospice service here when I retired that I would get involved. I’ve enjoyed all of the different volunteer roles I’ve had. Preparing food for patients in the kitchen felt like such a loving, nurturing thing to do. I felt as though what I was doing had a real impact in terms of the patient’s over all care. I also really enjoyed the team work and collaboration in the kitchen environment.”
“Preparing the biographies is special. I feel that I’m giving people the chance to go back over their life and record what mattered to them. It also gives the person a dedicated, non-judgemental listener which enables them to just tell their story without feeling the need to justify or explain their decisions.”
As a volunteer, Mary says the Otago Community Hospice makes her feel valued and cared about.
“The Otago Community Hospice treats its volunteers as an important part of the team. I get a real sense that I matter and that I’m making a difference to the organisation and all of the people it reaches. I feel blessed to be able to volunteer and I feel humbled among such wonderful people. I feel I’m still doing something worthwhile.”
Mary encourages young people to get involved with volunteering at the Otago Community Hospice.
“I think it says something about a person. It demonstrates a generosity of spirit and community mindedness and people of all age groups have something to offer. I would strongly encourage young people to give it a go because they bring another dimension to a situation and that is always welcomed.”