Following her retirement from Verulam School where she had worked for seventeen years teaching Food and Nutrition, and as Head of Sixth Form, Hilary wanted to do some voluntary work, this time working with adults.
She chose to join Rennie Grove Hospice Care because of its prominence as a local St Albans charity with an excellent reputation for the service it provides.
Hilary said, “I volunteer on the same day and for the same time each week. This enables me to fit my volunteering around my other commitments. The role is very rewarding and one where you feel valued by both the patients and the nursing staff. The supportive and caring nature of the work is reflected in the positive workplace environment. Visiting the Day Hospice for the first time can be a daunting experience for some patients, but working closely with the nursing team, the volunteers help patients to settle in and to enjoy their time there.
Hilary finds it particularly rewarding to see patients over a period of time and to help them to get involved in a range of activities and to make new friends.
She advises prospective volunteers to take time to find the right volunteering role at the right time for them. She has found that it is also possible to utilise existing skills as a volunteer, which is something she has done in her other role – providing nutritional advice to post-operative patients at the monthly Breast Advisory sessions run by St Albans City Hospital held at Grove House.