Marie Curie welcomes the man with the 'nicest job in Britain'

by Luke Cameron
Charity volunteer

Luke with Marie Curie Chief Executive Dr Jane Collins
Luke with Marie Curie Chief Executive Dr Jane Collins

I have a very unusual job. I get paid by UA, an ethical energy broker, to travel the country and visit a different charity each week. I lend a hand wherever the charity wishes and, at the end of the week, I blog about my experience.

I have seen so many wonderful and eye-opening things. From neonatal care units with babies born at just 24 weeks to playing with puppies at the Guide Dogs for the Blind breeding centre. I really do have the 'Nicest Job in Britain'.

I spent this week, my 16th week of 46 charities, volunteering for Marie Curie, the UK’s leading terminal illness charity.

I spent two days at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands, the newest of all the Marie Curie hospices, to get a feel for the direct high-level care that the charity provide. Within minutes of walking through the door I had donned a nice pair of gardening gloves and was planting flowers outside the residents' bedrooms. The gardens are maintained by an incredible self-funding group of volunteers who work year round to ensure that each patient has a beautifully vibrant view outside their windows.

Apart from gardening, I also helped out with maintenance, patient tea runs, cooking in the kitchen and day-care services. I found it really inspiring. If I am honest, I was unsure of what a ‘hospice’ would feel like, in terms of the perception people have that they must be gloomy or sad places. But it was more like a hotel than a hospital and I was blown away.

Hospices are not sad places; they are happy places where sometimes sad things happen. Truth of the matter is, Marie Curie deals with death, which is a hard fact of life. But they do it with grace, dignity and compassion. That is more than apparent from the time I have spent with them. So if you want to really know where your money goes, it goes on care. Care services and hospices that make a person's end of life as good as it can be for them and their loved ones.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Marie Curie and my time at the hospice really did open my mind. I will be taking away with me the understanding that hospices are not scary places. They provide a vital service in the best possible environment and, for that, they are amazing.

Read more about Luke's amazing job