PHIL DAWSON joined the valued team of Rennie Grove volunteers five years ago after the charity’s nurses cared for his mother, and says: “This is an organisation that has stolen my heart and that I believe in totally.”
Moved by the impact that the hospice at home nursing team had at a fraught time, Phil decided to become involved where he could. “Margaret, mother’s nurse, was an immediate inspiration in the ways she relieved anxiety. The inspiration, love and support she gave was a wonderful tonic to everyone,” he says.
The former IT systems training manager from Chalfont St Peter explains: “Previously unaware of the charity, I wanted to know more about this organisation because I was retired and needed an association with such a supportive and caring service and – hopefully - help.”
Since then Phil has been spreading the word for Rennie Grove in various ways. He has been a volunteer van driver, shifting bulky items between our offices and outposts. He is also an ambassador, delivering the Rennie Grove message to groups and organisations such as WIs and golf clubs, which he describes as a hugely fulfilling role. In addition, he helps at Bainbridge House, the retail and trading hub in Berkhamsted, arranging for donated CDs and DVDs to be sold via Music Magpie.
“They can’t be sold in the shops but we usually re-sell about 4-500 to organisations every week, which provides a regular income,” he says.
More recently, Phil has been training to become a volunteer listener. In this role, volunteers can offer a supportive ear to patients, carers, and families of patients coping with illness and bereavement as part of the range of care provided by Rennie Grove’s Family Support Services.
Phil’s affection for Rennie Grove continues to spur him on to support it wherever possible. “I am always looking for something else I can do. I have been totally bowled over by the organisation from the start. You only ever hear complimentary things said about it from patients, carers and their families. I want to make sure that it continues with that same ethos.”
He sums up: “It always makes me feel good when I've done something for Rennie Grove, thinking that my small efforts could have been the difference in a nurse being able to help someone or their family in a time of greatest need - thank goodness that we have Rennie Grove in our area.”
If you would like to join our 1,500-strong team of volunteers then click here or call 01442 890222 to find out how you could help.