Carol’s story

Volunteer roles can be challenging, rewarding and complex. We’re sharing Carol’s story of her support for Lewis Manning Hospice Care.

After a career that sent her all over the world, culminating in a role as International Marketing Director meeting people and getting to the heart of what works in different communities and cultures, Carol’s skills, interest in people and desire to be useful saw her embark on a whole new journey with Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.  “My career taught me to have an eye for detail, systems and logistics, I like to keep using my brain.  It’s hard to stop if you have drive and experience from your working life that can help others and improve things.  Having a challenge and focus outside of your friends and family really helps as you get older.  It pushes your boundaries and you meet new people.  I’ve made some fantastic friends through volunteering with Lewis-Manning.”

Lyndsey Howard, Volunteer Manager, said: “There are many amazing benefits to volunteering for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, from meeting new people and learning different skills to boosting confidence and gaining experience for your CV, it can be great when seeking employment.  CAN help to promote our volunteering vacancies and support us with advice on managing our wonderful volunteers.  Their free webinars and networking groups are fun and a great chance to be in a room with other volunteer managers in similar roles so we can share ideas, thoughts and collaborate.”

Carol told us: “I like being busy so was looking for somewhere to volunteer and remembered a friend’s aunt who had been to Lewis-Manning and loved it.  The charity provides hospice care for adults with a life-limiting illness as well as support for their carers and loved ones.  It’s really special as people can choose how they receive support, whether in their own home, out in the community at clinics or through the day hospice.

I like variety and am quite versatile, so when I applied on-line, there were a wide range of roles on offer.  I said I’d be happy to do anything.  I started as a driver, taking patients to and from the day hospice which is open 10am-3pm, four days a week.  When you drive regularly with someone, you get to know them well.  They’re a joy to be with, and even when really ill, they remain cheerful.

People think being involved will be sad, but I can honestly say that at the day hospice on Longfleet Road in Poole, there’s a buzz the minute you go in and all you hear is laughter.  8-10 people attend each session and depending on what they want to do, we have all sorts of activities from art and craft to puzzles, quizzes or just a catch up.  It gets people out and gives them a chance to have lunch and socialise in a friendly, supportive environment where they can talk without fear or judgement, giving families and carers some time to themselves.  Lewis-Manning’s clinical team also provide a whole range of specialist care for Lymphoedema, Better Breathing, counselling & bereavement support – and all the services are free.

I’ve volunteered with them for nearly five years, and as well as driving, I’ve covered reception, spent time with patients in day hospice, helped out at local events to promote the charity and assisted with various admin tasks at the Hospice.  One really important role I have is as a Befriender. I support patients who are on their own and isolated.  You can do this in person or over the phone and it provides a valuable lifeline – it’s incredibly rewarding.

There’s a real joy in giving your time and making that connection with someone, for you and them.  When you meet families of people who have died, they are very quick to tell you the difference you made and the impact it’s had for them and their loved one.

Everyone needs a purpose in life and for anyone thinking about volunteering it could turn out to be just what you’re looking for.  If you feel you have something to give, give it.  I guarantee the rewards could be so much greater than you might think. Some volunteers have been here up to 30 years.  That is surely proof that there is great satisfaction and enjoyment in, ‘Giving something back’.”

For more information on volunteer roles visit Lewis-Manning Hospice Care volunteer vacancies.

For information on other volunteering opportunities in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole email: or visit