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  Helping at a hospice is a great experience
Updated 18 February 2004, 08.43

Catriona volunteers at her local hospice and in her report she tells us why she enjoys it so much.

"For the past year I have been helping out as a volunteer at the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow.

A hospice is a second home where people with terminal illnesses go at a point in their illness where they feel they would like some help.

Caring place

Patients may decide to stay in a hospice for many reasons: to give themselves and their families some respite, to increase the level of care they are receiving or, simply to enjoy the last days of their lives in a calm, caring place.

A hospice allows this to happen and gives the patient a chance to enjoy what time they have left without worry.

Bursting with life

Many people do not understand what a hospice is and mistake it as a depressing unhappy place where people go to spend the last days of their life.

However, the hospice is anything but that.

The hospice is a place that is bursting with life and aims to let patients live life to the full in what time they have left.

Here, the focus is not about dying but about life and all the opportunities within it.

Friendly people

I started volunteering there when doing my Duke of Edinburgh award at Craigholme School and have decided to stay because of the friendly people and fantastic time I have when I am in the hospice.

Anyone can apply to become a volunteer in a hospice and it will be one of the most rewarding things you could do.

Fundraising events

Over the past year, I have been working in the fundraising department.

This is the department which organises fun and challenging events to raise money for the hospice.

When I started helping in fundraising, I thought I would be sitting stuffing envelopes or doing something boring like that.

I was completely wrong. Every week I do something different and exciting - I have helped make posters for a parachute jump, phoned companies to raise publicity for a hospice trek, and many other things.

Making a difference

I only volunteer once a week, after school, but in that short time I have great time with the fundraisers while I feel as if I am making a difference by helping the hospice provide its services to its patients.

Volunteering at The Price and Princess of Wales Hospice has been an achievement in my life which I want to continue."

Catriona, 15, Glasgow

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It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

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