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Ashgate Hospice > Meet volunteers Carol and Liz: Retired nurses continuing to care for patients on our Inpatient Unit

Meet Liz Williams (on the left) and Carol Morgan (on the right), two of our Inpatient Unit volunteers who are both retired nurses! 

Both women were inspired to volunteer for us after their personal experiences of their loved ones receiving our care and wanted to give something back. They both also started their volunteering journey by serving meals to patients on the Inpatient Unit where Carol still does the Thursday suppers shift as well as the volunteering Ward Assistant role.

In their careers, Carol was a Senior Sister on the Intensive Care Unit at Chesterfield Royal for 24 years, while Liz was a Staff Nurse in the operating theatres at Jessop Hospital for Women, and then the Hallamshire in Sheffield. They both bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from the nursing and the care sector.

Carol said: “You get a lot of job satisfaction, but have to be able to compartmentalise it, do what you can to the best of your ability and then go home and leave it because otherwise you just get too involved.”

Carol and Liz therefore jumped at the chance to volunteer on the Inpatient Unit when the volunteer role was created in January 2021. Originally formed to support staff on the Inpatient Unit throughout winter and the pandemic, the support role has made such a difference and it is now hard to imagine the Inpatient Unit without this role.

Being familiar with medical equipment and processes means they are well prepared and know how to support and alleviate the non-clinical pressures from our Nurses, Doctors, and Healthcare Assistants. Carol added: “Once you’re a nurse, you’re always a nurse. It keeps you humble.”

Since they both started the role, they have created their own routines and systems, making it their own. By taking care of tasks such as sorting stock deliveries and ensuring equipment and linens are readily available, they are helping doctors, nurses and Healthcare Assistants to spend more time with the patients and families in their care.

Liz says: “I enjoy it because I know that we’re doing the basic stuff and if the basic stuff isn’t done, the rest of the hospice doesn’t work. We know that’s important.”

We asked if they would recommend volunteering at Ashgate and they both encouraged others to come and give it a go.

Carol added: “Everybody’s very welcoming and very appreciative of what we’re doing, they make you feel part of the team.”