Make a Referral Donate Now
Ashgate Hospice > Volunteering has been one of the best experiences of my life – by Tabitha Bruty
Aspiring doctor, Tabitha, began volunteering for Ashgate Hospice during the pandemic. Here she reflects on her time with the hospice, the skills she has learnt and the lifelong friends she has made.


I started volunteering at Ashgate in April 2022, when COVID restrictions were still very much impacting healthcare. As an aspiring doctor, it was important to me that I was able to gain experience in a healthcare setting in a capacity that would allow me to build my skills rather than just gain medical experience. Ashgate has never once failed to help me in this.

When I first began, I was certainly very nervous. I didn’t know how I would find talking to patients or communicating with the staff, but it became clear to me very quickly that everyone worked very hard to create an environment that was welcoming and comfortable. I was welcomed with open arms, and that relationship has remained the same ever since.

During my time here, I have had the privilege of being able to meet and learn from some truly wonderful people. Ashgate as a community and a hospice is an amazing environment to be in. Walking down the corridors, I am always greeted with smiles and ‘Hellos’, even from people who haven’t met me before. It has been truly inspiring to see how the staff communicate and care for their patients and their families alike. Being in an environment where it is so clear that everyone constantly has the patients in their minds has been extremely humbling and has shown me the kind of attitude I want to bring to people in the future.

The relationships between co-workers at Ashgate are extremely strong. Even as a volunteer who is in once a week, I have been welcomed into the family and treated as such. There is always someone there to cheer you up if you need some support, or to ask advice from. In my time there, I have seen co-workers help each other through some tough personal times and some particularly difficult workdays. It is evident from the way that everyone interacts that people truly care for each other here and are aware of how important it is to support one another. It is wonderful to see that the staff have created a support system among them that works well.

Not only has volunteering at Ashgate shown me examples of healthy and supportive relationships between co-workers, but it has also given me the chance to gain more confidence. Having the opportunity to interact with patients and their families has given me exposure to so many different people, each with their own needs. I have gained immensely from my time at Ashgate in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to in any other setting. As COVID restrictions were still in place, it also meant that I was able to learn how to communicate with people more efficiently using non-verbal methods. It was a good reminder of how much we can give to people even with barriers to our communication.

Volunteering has given me some invaluable experiences and Ashgate has given me friends and memories. It has genuinely been one of the best experiences of my life and I cannot stress enough how invaluable volunteering is. Being able to do my bit in helping these patients and help lessen the workload of the staff has been extremely fulfilling and very rewarding use of my time.