Tony Cowburn has volunteered on Christmas Day at the hospice’s reception for years. Here, he explains what he enjoys about spending Christmas at St Catherine’s.
I’ve volunteered at St Catherine’s since 2008 and have always worked on reception. It was my late wife Margaret who suggested it and I’ve never looked back.
I like the chance to help people and make sure everyone goes to the right place in the hospice.
I’ve worked on Christmas Day on three separate occasions and I’ve offered to do it again this year and I’m really looking forward to it.
I had no plans for Christmas Day – I can see family over different days of the festive period – but I wanted to give other volunteers the chance to have Christmas Day with their families.
It’s a different sort of day, and I always enjoy it. St Catherine’s is a really positive place, but at Christmas it’s extra special and seems a brighter, more upbeat sort of place. As you would expect, patients and visitors carry a mixture of emotions during this unique time of year, so every little helps from each one of us.
I get a lovely Christmas lunch which I eat at the desk, because I can’t leave reception un-manned. It’s been very good in previous years, everyone is most thoughtful and considerate, so I’ve no doubt it will be the same this year.