John Baker got involved with the hospice’s community volunteer programme in February 2019, after seeing an article in a local newspaper about Blythe House.
The Taddington resident explained: ‘Having been looking to volunteer “somewhere,” I read with growing interest a feature on Blythe House in the Buxton Advertiser that detailed the history, current status and aspirations for the future. I was intrigued…what could a retired sales manager possibly bring to a community volunteer programme at a hospice?
‘The answer and what actually inspires me is the opportunity to bring some “normality” into patient’s lives, and the lives of their family, by providing simple basic support, also the terrific “buzz” you get by the simple act of a helping hand.
‘I have been indirectly supporting a patient recently by ensuring her husband had some respite, taking him shopping and for a coffee and a cheeky cake for just two hours each week. I know it has been greatly appreciated by the whole family.
‘Simply listening and offering a different environment for a couple of hours can and does make a massive difference within a difficult situation.
‘To encourage other people like myself to become community volunteers, I would say: remember you’re helping people whilst they are enduring difficult times, which for me is a very fulfilling experience. Just give it a try; you may even surprise yourself.’