Giving back

Posted on the 2nd June 2018

Keech Hospice Care is part of my life now. I don’t think I could ever thank them enough for what they did for my dad and for us as a family. That’s why I decided to give something back and become a volunteer for this amazing charity.

I’m 31 years old and I started volunteering for the charity after being inspired to help others following the death of my dad, Leslie. He died in 2004, aged 59, from skin cancer in Keech Hospice Care’s adult in-patient unit.

What Keech Hospice Care did for my dad was the best treatment he could have had. A few hours after he died, one of the nurses asked if I would like to see my dad. He had the perfect smile on his face – it was just like he was sleeping. The nurse told me, ‘He’s at peace now.’

Keech Hospice Care was there for me and my family every step of the way.

I was only 18 when my dad died. Nobody else close to me had died before but the nurses at Keech were perfect; they were all amazing and the support was phenomenal. Keech Hospice Care was there for me and my family every step of the way.

Varied volunteering opportunities

Fundraising

When I first joined the Keech Hospice Care ‘family’, I became a fundraising volunteer, helping to organise and take part in events. In 2004, I did my first skydive for the charity with my brothers Carl and Gordon, and we raised £5,000.

Tots ‘n’ Toys

After that, I also started to volunteer with the children Keech cares for. I helped out at the Tots ‘n’ Toys stay-and-play sessions and later with the siblings’ support group, Sparklers. I’ve loved helping to care for the children in the charity’s sensory room – which all the children enjoy – and I enjoy reading to them. It’s incredibly special to me and I’ve become a part of the children’s lives.

I like working with children because I can see the pleasure they get just from being here.

Lifeguarding

I also enjoy working with Keech Hospice Care’s volunteer lifeguards, helping to keep the adults, children and families who use the charity’s fantastic hydrotherapy pool safe. I love watching the patients enjoying themselves in the water, laughing and smiling. Some people even fall asleep in the hydrotherapy pool because they’re so relaxed, while others want to play underneath the fountain.

I find being a lifeguard really rewarding because I am doing something to help adults and children, and their families, at a time in their lives they need it the most.

Some of the children can’t talk but you can still hear their excitement when they get into the pool. Many of them are confined to a wheelchair for most of the day so, when they come to Keech Hospice Care’s hydrotherapy pool, it’s a chance for them to be free in a safe and warm environment.

I find being a lifeguard really rewarding because I am doing something to help adults and children, and their families, at a time in their lives they need it the most. I’d encourage anyone over 16 years old to become a volunteer lifeguard at Keech Hospice Care. You only need to give a few hours of your time each week and Keech will put you through your lifeguard training for free, which is amazing!

Lesley Beaney

Volunteer at Keech Hospice Care

Lesley first joined Keech Hospice Care as a fundraising volunteer in 2004. She now supports children and adults in a number of ways, including as a volunteer lifeguard.

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