Rachel Dennett got involved with Blythe House’s community volunteer programme in February 2019 because she wanted to give something back to the community.

The Glossop resident explained: ‘My father died last year. In his last few days he was cared for by the Shakespeare Hospice at Home team in Stratford. I saw what a massive difference these carers made to both him and the rest of the family. Their support made an awful situation more bearable.

‘I was in a position where my children needed me less, giving me some spare time. I wanted to give something back to the community.

‘Since I underwent the training, I have been able to provide companionship for a local patient, and respite care for their carer. I also support them in a number of practical ways such as ironing, changing beds, shopping, cooking meals along with being someone to talk, and sometimes cry, with.

‘This volunteering role gives me the chance to help others in a very rewarding way.
Although it is often sad, I leave after each visit with a sense of achievement; I am making the dreadful situation a bit more bearable for the patient and their husband and that makes me feel like I’m making a real difference.

‘It’s a really satisfying and interesting role and I’d thoroughly recommend it. The training sessions were really helpful and often entertaining too!’

Find out more about the community volunteer programme.