When I started volunteering 10 years ago I have to admit I had some reservations about spending time around cancer patients. I was mainly concerned that it might be a depressing place to spend my day. I soon found that my concerns were unfounded - Calvary is such a positive environment for both patients and volunteers alike.
I started off by delivering equipment to patients' homes but soon found myself also doing the BBQ for hospital staff and volunteers - a role any man would be keen to do! I recently did a BBQ for a very ill patient and his family, and was very moved when the next day he made a special effort to thank me.
My latest job is to man the "jolly trolley". I get to serve free drinks and nibbles to the patients, which definitely makes me a popular man on the wards! When patients hear the rattle of the trolley I can see them scurrying back to the wards to get ready for my arrival. Manning the jolly trolley gives me a chance to share a joke and a laugh with the patients, and I find it a fun and rewarding experience.
As well as meeting the patients, I enjoy the company of the other volunteers when we cross-over in our roles (or when catch up for drinks now and then). Having worked most of my life in a male-dominated [physical] job, I like that the volunteers at Calvary are men and women from many different backgrounds and walks of life.
But above all, it's the experience. Naturally, there are sad moments but they are far outweighed by the good times and the rewarding feeling at the end of each day.