In my free time I enjoy walking and showing my dogs and attending dog shows, and it was actually at a local dog show over 21 years ago that I first heard of Demelza. The event was raising funds for this new charity to build a hospice in Sittingbourne. I wanted to learn more so I went along to visit, walked along the blanks to the front door and started volunteering - and I've been there ever since. I also volunteer for other worthy charitable causes including Samaritans and Mencap, as I enjoy using my time and skills to support others.
When I began volunteering for Demelza I started in the kitchen before taking the 'Advanced Volunteering Course' as it was then. I was then able to begin giving my time to help Demelza's Bereavement team to support the families that benefit from Demelza's services and care, which is the most rewarding role for me.
I feel I can do some good by being able to offer comfort to families who are going through the most difficult times in their lives, and getting to see them come out the other side. It is a pleasure to be able to support the families even when it is hard, knowing the difference you are ultimately making in the longer term. The best thing is when you see a family after a time and they give you a hug, you can really feel the appreciation that is given.
I would encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to give it a go - you might feel one area isn't for you, but you can try another area of volunteering, like fundraising or in the shops. There is something to suit everyone! There's always a chance to keep it fresh and learn another skill by helping out in other departments. It's a great organisation and I always get a 'thank you' for the time I give. I feel welcomed, appreciated and supported, which is why I continue to volunteer.
We rely on people like Dave to help us support as many families as possible. If you'd like to give even a few hours of your time to a good cause, please consider registering as a volunteer, and becoming an essential part of Team Demelza. You could make a difference to so many people.
For more information, check out our Volunteering pages.