Caroline's Story | The Hospice of St. Francis

Caroline's Story

“As a family we have taken part in several Mud Pack Challenges,

Meet Caroline from St Albans, who volunteers at our Marshalswick shop every week, a role which she started after lockdown in 2020.

We caught up with her to learn more about her involvement with the Hospice.

“I love volunteering in the shop - everyone is so warm, friendly and very welcoming. We have fantastic banter as a team! We are like little family. I like the interaction with the customers and trying to help them find what they are looking for.

“I previously volunteered in the eBay department before it became the Online Hub. I have spoken at various Hospice functions with regards to my experience with the Hospice, shook collection tins in supermarkets, labelled tombola prizes, helped at the Ashridge Garden Party and made items for the Craft team (along with my Mum).”

Sharing her personal experience of the Hospice, Caroline explains, “My husband, Paul, was cared for at the Hospice in June 2014 and as a family we received so much love and support. I wanted to give something back.”

Paul was at the Hospice for two weeks and was initially only admitted to help get his pain under control, following a diagnosis with Bowel Cancer in the April of 2014.

“He was originally given six months to live but only survived six weeks. Unfortunately, he never came home.”

“At the time Paul died both my children, Charlotte and James, were at school in the middle of their AS levels and A levels. The Hospice got in touch with Aberystwyth University, where my daughter had an unconditional offer, to explain what was happening with her dad and find out what could be done regarding sitting her exams."

“They also helped me sort out student finance, as obviously my income was about to change radically. Paul worked up to his diagnosis in April and was the main breadwinner. I was not working as I had just recovered from breast cancer. Everyone at the Hospice gave me so much support in many ways and there was so much understanding.”

“As a family we have taken part in several Mud Pack Challenges, the Challenge Trek to Nepal in 2015 - I even took my Classic Car to the recent car show in September too."

“Paul was a ‘shopper’ and the last thing he bought was a 1963 Morris Minor Convertible so we could spend the summer driving to country pubs for lunch. He commissioned the interior to be changed to red, but sadly never saw the finished car - he passed away before it was completed.”

“Myself and many friends have also run several events to raise money for the Hospice – including our infamous Chocolate Balls (with delicious food and live music)! There has also been curry nights, a sponsored diet, a 10k and a 24hr challenge.”

Describing her volunteer role in further detail, Caroline says, “I help out in the shop, working the till, greeting people at the door, accepting donations, putting stock out and checking games. Occasionally, I assist in the back steaming the clothes ready to put onto the shop floor. Overall, a bit of anything and everything!"

“If you are considering volunteering with one of the Hospice shops… absolutely DO IT! It is so much fun and you will get so much out of it. Perfect for all ages!"

“I previously volunteered in the eBay department before it became the Online Hub. I have spoken at various Hospice functions with regards to my experience with the Hospice, shook collection tins in supermarkets, labelled tombola prizes, helped at the Ashridge Garden Party and made items for the Craft team (along with my Mum).”

Sharing her personal experience of the Hospice, Caroline explains, “My husband, Paul, was cared for at the Hospice in June 2014 and as a family we received so much love and support. I wanted to give something back.”

Paul was at the Hospice for two weeks and was initially only admitted to help get his pain under control, following a diagnosis with Bowel Cancer in the April of 2014.

“He was originally given six months to live but only survived six weeks. Unfortunately, he never came home.”

“At the time Paul died both my children, Charlotte and James, were at school in the middle of their AS levels and A levels. The Hospice got in touch with Aberystwyth University, where my daughter had an unconditional offer, to explain what was happening with her dad and find out what could be done regarding sitting her exams."

“They also helped me sort out student finance, as obviously my income was about to change radically. Paul worked up to his diagnosis in April and was the main breadwinner. I was not working as I had just recovered from breast cancer. Everyone at the Hospice gave me so much support in many ways and there was so much understanding.”

“As a family we have taken part in several Mud Pack Challenges, the Challenge Trek to Nepal in 2015 - I even took my Classic Car to the recent car show in September too."

“Paul was a ‘shopper’ and the last thing he bought was a 1963 Morris Minor Convertible so we could spend the summer driving to country pubs for lunch. He commissioned the interior to be changed to red, but sadly never saw the finished car - he passed away before it was completed.”

“Myself and many friends have also run several events to raise money for the Hospice – including our infamous Chocolate Balls (with delicious food and live music)! There has also been curry nights, a sponsored diet, a 10k and a 24hr challenge.”

Describing her volunteer role in further detail, Caroline says, “I help out in the shop, working the till, greeting people at the door, accepting donations, putting stock out and checking games. Occasionally, I assist in the back steaming the clothes ready to put onto the shop floor. Overall, a bit of anything and everything!"

“If you are considering volunteering with one of the Hospice shops… absolutely DO IT! It is so much fun and you will get so much out of it. Perfect for all ages!"