Stephen Hall volunteers in a lot of different ways for the charity from driving patients to appointments to helping at their community days including The J’s Inspire! social days. Here Stephen explains how he got involved with volunteering and what he enjoys about it.
"I am a chartered engineer and spent much of my career designing Radar Systems for the Navy. On retirement, as I wanted to put something back into the local community, I registered with the Chelmsford Volunteer Service who passed my details onto The J’s Hospice, which supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex both in their homes and in the community. After a brief interview, references and police checks, I was accepted as a volunteer driver. Since then I received ambassador training and fulfil several roles within the charity.
"Inspire is a social group, and as an Inspire volunteer I drive patients to the venue, normally accompanied by a nurse, carer or family member. I am then paired with a patient during the afternoon, to form a friendship, and ensure their care needs are being met. Not being medically trained, if there are any concerns, I alert one of the clinical staff.
"Things I am involved with on a regular basis include
- Driving patients to hospital appointments, on outings, and to Inspire
- Facilitating at the charity’s ‘Js days’ which can be trips to theatre, pottery classes, zoo visits and much more
- Driving for the fundraising team including collecting tins and leaflet distribution
- Monthly checks and arranging cleaning of the Wheelchair Adapted Vehicle (WAV)
- Giving The Js and Little Havens presentations to organisations and at events
- Helping organise and put out the signs for the annual Pedal for The J’s and Chelmsford Marathon
- Spending one-day a week in the office helping with administration
"I find the young people and their carer’s inspiring in the way they cope with the limitations they have to live with. Inspire really motivates me on and is the reason I help in the other areas. When I work as an Ambassador I give an overview and background of The J’s, and that will cover things like how it started , the unique service provided, how people and organisations can be involved, how many families we help, and the costs involved in running our service
"I am an elder at a local Chelmsford evangelical church and in this role I am frequently faced with pastoral care needs. I am also a lay preacher and have plenty of baby-sitting requests from children who each have a daughter and son, so I bring a lot of that experience to my role within the charity, too!
"I enjoy every aspect of my involvement with The J’s. It is very varied; I am working with a great bunch of clinical and fundraising staff as well as fellow volunteers and I enjoy interaction with the patients, their families and carers. Volunteering is very fulfilling and provides an excellent way of knowing what’s going on in the community across Essex."
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