Every Wednesday morning at 8.15am prompt Alan Williams arrives at our In Patient Unit. For the next four hours he chats with patients and their families, makes cups of tea, and helps the nurses in any way he can.

Alan, who is retired, has been volunteering for St Luke’s for the last three years. He said: “I had always had a very busy business life and really there was never time to give anything back. And then at the age of 50 my wife was terminally ill with cancer and was looked after by a hospice near to where we lived in Preston and I was very impressed with the work they did. So when I stopped working and moved to Cheshire that led me to St Luke’s.

“I’m not great a bed making and things like that, but if someone needs help with their breakfast then I’ll sit and feed them. I make cups of tea for patients and their relatives, but the main thing is to sit down and chat and I have some amazing conversations with some absolutely fantastic people. Sometimes it’s not easy, I always say to people that if they don’t want to talk or have had enough of me to tell me and I’ll go, but then other times we can be chatting for a couple of hours. If through our conversation, I have taken their mind off things or we’ve had a bit of fun and laughed then I feel I’ve contributed something.

“It is a privilege to volunteer here. They are a great team of people and they do a good job, both the volunteers and the paid staff. The patients appreciate the quality of the care, the quality of the people and the quality of the food and all these things go a long way to making their journey that little bit easier.”

To find out more about volunteering with St Luke’s and our current volunteer vacancies please click here.

If you would like to volunteer for a few hours per week like Alan, please register your interest or email our Volunteer Co-ordinator pamela.ford@slhospice.co.uk