When Saint Francis Hospice cared for someone close to Harry James, the 25-year-old from Brentwood set his heart on volunteering. Jim Hearn, who was the grandad of Harry’s girlfriend, had suffered from multiple strokes. He was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for 12 months until he agreed to go to the Hospice.
For the first time in a year, Jim wasn’t screaming in pain when nurses moved him. They were so kind. The care he received was just perfect. Since April, Harry has been volunteering on the Hospice’s ward tending to patients and easing the pressure on the nurses who are working tirelessly to halt the spread of COVID-19.
‘It makes me feel brilliant knowing that I’m helping people,’ he said. ‘The Hospice puts a smile on my face. I know that when my shift is done, I’ve got something from my day.’ Currently working on the admin side of a private healthcare company, Harry is looking for a career in care. ‘The Hospice has inspired me to do that,’ he said. ‘All of my friends have been supportive and admire what I’m doing.’
While Harry admitted that it could have been easy to build a misconception of Saint Francis Hospice as a gloomy place, he decided to put assumptions to one side and judge for himself. He is encouraging others to do the same. ‘If you come here with an open mind, then you’ll reap the rewards.’
You can also help Saint Francis Hospice’s patients by supporting the COVID-19 appeal.You can find out more here.