Clare is a familiar face to Hospice staff, visitors and volunteers working as a Reception volunteer. Her regular shift is a Thursday from 10.00am to 2.00pm however she is often here more than once a week, filling in for others and supporting Trudi, the paid receptionist.
Clare’s approach to volunteering is quite special. In the nomination for this award she is described as “a volunteer and so much more”. The compassion, empathy and understanding she gives to all that enter Hospice and her colleagues is very special and done in the most natural way.
Her customer service skills and can do attitude have led her into many other avenues at Hospice and Clare “makes every day the best day possible” for all of us when she is here.
It was conversations with long-time friend and Hospice nurse Donna Thompson that prompted Clare to think about volunteering with Hospice. While Clare had heard a lot about Hospice over the years through Donna she had not had direct experience of the services Hospice provides, she did however “have experience of losing someone and sometimes needing a helping hand.”
“The timing was just right” says Clare “When Donna told me that she thought I would be a good volunteer I thought what could I do? I thought I could be a driver because that was something I would be able to do but somehow started volunteering on Reception”.
After one or two shorter shifts Clare knew that she wanted to do more than a few hours each week and started on the 10.00am to 2.00pm shift. She describes the environment as “busier, being more involved with the daily comings and goings of Hospice, and with more contact with staff, patients and their families.”
Clare describes her volunteer experience as giving her an enormous sense of satisfaction from doing something meaningful, something that matters. “It’s a real privilege to meet the patients’ families particularly when they choose to share their stories which paint the picture of the person they know.”
Clare’s working background is in sales of cosmetics and skin care. Originally from West Auckland Clare met husband Ross at Waitakere College and they have been married for 28 years. They have two children, Phoebe and Lewis and live in Greenhithe.
The volunteers at the Milford shop recently experienced some major change as a result of Hospice taking on new shop premises on Kitchener Road and transforming the existing Shakespeare Road store into a Furniture and Homeware store.
The existing volunteers at Shakespeare Road put out the word to friends, family and the Milford community and within a relatively short time frame drew in a pool of new volunteers to staff both of the shops. As usual the time frames for making all this happen were very short so when there weren’t enough volunteers to fill all the shifts individuals helped out by taking on additional shifts or working at either location on their designated shift. Everyone just pitched in and helped where they could to enable the shops to open on schedule on 2nd August 2016.
The response from the Milford community has been very supportive with both donations of goods and the volume of sales which sees both shops operating above budget. Well done Milford volunteers.