I started volunteering with Children’s Hospice South West at Little Harbour around four years ago, after I had previously been on one of the guided tours. What struck me was how different it was from how I imagined a children’s hospice to be. I think you immediately assume it will be incredibly sad and because you are dealing with the children, you think it must be an incredibly tough environment to work in, but I was completely surprised.
My experience over the years of volunteering at Little Harbour with the Sibling team is one of fun, laughter and joy. Of course you do have the reality of remembering it’s a hospice when a child dies and you feel the grief of the families, but part, or most, of what we do is to create special memories for the children and their families and to make it a place where the siblings of the affected children feel totally comfortable and they look forward to coming back during tough times.
The families have so much to deal with. So Little Harbour is about creating a safe environment and a fun one for the children where they get to do childlike things. The whole family are taken care of, so they can relax and feel at ease.
I love being at the hospice. What I need to bring as a volunteer is enthusiasm, fun, 100% commitment and bags of energy. It’s an incredible place which gives me so much satisfaction. Volunteering is the best thing I have done!