While many college students would be taking the chance of a break from studies to relax, Hannah Rossiter spends her free time on the Taunton In-patient Unit. Hannah is studying A-Levels at Richard Huish College in Taunton, hoping to pursue a career in medicine.

As part of Hannah’s Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, she had to volunteer her time to a worthy cause. Given Hannah’s career aspirations she chose to approach St. Margaret’s Hospice. “I’ve always been aware of St. Margaret’s and the amazing work they do for our local community and couldn’t wait to start. I was offered a number of shifts I could choose between at times to suit me.” said Hannah.

Hannah volunteers every Thursday afternoon between 2pm and 4.30pm on the In-patient Unit as a Ward Volunteer. Sue Wilmott, Volunteer Coordinator, said “Ward Volunteers assist us in providing beverages etc for patients and visitors. They ensure that all the little needs are met, freeing the nursing team to focus on palliative nursing needs.”

Hannah said “Volunteering at St. Margaret’s is a wonderful experience, it fits in perfectly with my college schedule and I get to meet some amazing people. I thought the hospice would be quite a sad place, but I’ve actually found it’s not, it’s full of laughter and fun and all the staff and volunteers really believe in making each day count.

“Volunteering at St. Margaret’s will be a great thing to add to my CV, especially as I want to go into medicine. I’ve built relationships with patients and their families, with relatives especially appreciating what I do. Volunteering has improved my communication and people skills and with this experience I will have more confidence when it comes to doing any placements in the future.”

“I would recommend volunteering to anyone my age, especially at St. Margaret’s, they have roles to suit everyone and the staff are so friendly, you are really made to feel part of the team.”

If you have been inspired by Hannah's story, click here for detail on the volunteer roles currently available.