Whilst setting up a small gardening business, Cate Lines decided to donate some spare time to helping others by becoming a Blythe House community volunteer in autumn 2019.

She’s supported the hospice volunteer team during the COVID-19 pandemic, and appeared on BBC East Midlands Today in late 2020 to chat about her experience. Here, the Little Hayfield resident explains more:

‘I was inspired to apply for a role as a community volunteer by a friend and fellow volunteer who told me to give it a go. My first volunteer job was in the December 2019. I wrapped up some Christmas presents for a patient, and kept the patient company whilst her husband got on with some jobs outside.

‘During the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve be able to help the local community in quite a few different ways, such as shopping, prescription collecting and delivering, and transporting patients to hospital appointments. It has been enjoyable driving to places that you wouldn’t normally go; up long country lanes to deliver shopping, and chatting to very grateful recipients.

‘One particular job was to collect some ‘hearts’ from a butchers shop, for some dogs. I braced myself to be greeted by some huge great muscly hounds, only to find a couple of fluffy lap dogs! I did learn an interesting fact from the butcher, that cooked hearts taste remarkably like roast beef!

‘It has been good to be able to give something back to society in a caring capacity. Not only has the role improved my confidence, it has enabled me to meet new people and learn new skills. The people I meet are always so appreciative of the help I can give them, which makes me realise how important the work is. I would recommend to anyone who’s thinking about volunteering to give it a go, it’s good to push yourself and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll get back.’

Find out more about volunteering for Blythe House and Helen’s Trust.