What is it like to be a Marie Curie volunteer?

Lorna Price is a volunteer based at the Marie Hospice, Newcastle.


How long have you been a Marie Curie volunteer?

I have been a Marie Curie volunteer since October 2012. My role involves working closely with the Marketing Department who are based in London.

 What does being a volunteer involve?

The role is really varied. At the moment, I’m updating the Newcastle Hospice page on the Marie Curie website. I’ve had to audit the pages to check what information is outdated and then chase lots of people to get the most up-to-date content. This involves spending time with the relevant heads of department, meeting up with staff for informal discussions and generally pestering them to answer my questions. I’ve also been following them around corridors with a camera trying to persuade them to have their photographs taken! I am particularly focusing on any services, clinics or groups which are new to the Newcastle Hospice; writing a small blurb about them to keep healthcare professionals, as well as patients and carers, up to date with all that’s on offer. The role also involves doing any ad-hoc duties that marketing may need a hand with. For example, checking the hospice address is correct against various Google searches. I am about to start trying to find appropriate images of the Newcastle Hospice. These will seen by anyone who does a Google search for the hospice.  The plan is that this will help people find the hospice page as well allowing it to be located faster using a mobile.

 What do you do when you're not volunteering?

As well as being a volunteer, I’m also a Marie Curie employee, though in a completely different capacity to my marketing role. I currently work for the Palliative Care Coordination Centre, which is based in the Newcastle Hospice. It is a joint project with Marie Curie and NHS South of Tyne and Wear to coordinate local care packages for patients wishing to remain at home.

 Why do you volunteer?

Volunteering for a worthwhile cause is really rewarding – I feel as though I am doing something positive to help a fantastic cause. I’m also lucky because marketing is something that I have a particular interest in, having recently gone back to college to study a professional marketing qualification. There are so many ways to help out that I’m sure anyone could base their volunteering around personal skills and interests. I tend to try and donate a few hours a week of my time, but I think anything I offered would be appreciated. I would definitely recommend it... and, remember, not all volunteering involves wearing a bright yellow daffodil hat!