Veronica Threlfall - Volunteer Receptionist
What does your role involve?
Checking everyone in that comes through the main reception at the hospice, and making sure everyone signs out too. We sort out the post for everyone in the hospice and ensure it gets to the different departments. We also handle tests that are ready for collection.
All phone calls to the hospice are answered by reception. This can be professionals like doctors, family members, anyone! We sell chocolate bars and crisps – a chocolate bar goes a long way when you’re anxious. There are people waiting for complimentary therapies or transport to pick them up. We try and make those people feel as comfortable as we can because they can be nervous while waiting.
How did you get the experience to do the role you do now?
My profession was working as a physical and special educational needs teacher, and I have been the chair of the Trefoil Guild nationally, which has 22,000 members. I now act as chair for the local Trefoil Guild branch in Blakewater.
My husband Derek passed away at East Lancashire Hospice in the summer of 2016 after a battle with cancer. We spent days there sat in the garden, listening to our favourite songs. Derek’s toes were in the sunshine, and he was lay in his bed surrounded by family. If he had to lose him, it couldn’t have been more perfect.
What time do you start and finish work each day typically?
Generally I work on reception from 12.30pm until 3.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon with my dog Chester. There are a team of us who cover reception to ensure there are always two of us manning the desk. I have also covered the 3pm-5pm shift.
What’s the best thing about working for the hospice?
It is an honour to be part of the team. After Derek passed away, I was never worried about coming back to the hospice. It is very warm and friendly, with lots of special people.
I feel privileged that somewhere along the line, someone thought I had a personality or character that would in some way blend in with all these caring people. I am honoured to wear my volunteer badge and be part of the hospice.
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