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Pamela Bailey

Pamela Bailey is one of our longest-serving volunteers. Over her 24 years with us, she has supported St Nic’s in several ways and fundraised for us, too!

Pamela’s volunteer journey with the Hospice started quite by chance.

In 1999, as a musician, Pamela visited us as part of a small orchestra to play some music. During that visit, she didn’t meet any patients or speak to many staff members, but the building’s atmosphere left a big impression.

Reflecting on her first visit to the Hospice, Pamela recalls: “I had never been to the Hospice before. I had no idea what I would see and what it would be like so I did come in with some slight trepidation.

“When I came into the building, I was just bowled over by the atmosphere and the feeling of the Hospice. There was, well, there is, just something about the place.

“When I retired, I knew I wanted to come back. The Hospice is a special place, and it has been a special place for me ever since. I count the people here as my family.”

Following her retirement, Pamela’s volunteer journey with the Hospice began.

Over the years, Pamela has supported us in a number of different ways. In the earlier years, she supported our Hospice day services, which provided support for both patients and families. She also helped with our Headstart programme, which supported women with scarves and hats after chemotherapy caused hair loss and Positive Living groups.

After her husband died, Pamela decided to train as a Family Support Volunteer (now Psychological Services) and visited people in their own homes or supported them over the telephone.

Most recently, Pamela has become part of a team that supports patients and their loved ones on our Sylvan Ward. Where her role is to be there for all concerned, be it the patient, the family or close friends.

She explains, “This really is such a necessary role as it helps relieve the pressure on the staff, particularly when the ward is very busy.

“As volunteers, we have more time to speak to family members who are visiting. We are here to listen, and that is so important.

“Every day is different. We see different patients and different families. Being with someone at the end of life is a huge privilege.

“We are also there for the nurses and ward staff. It is very hard and emotional to be alongside patients at the end of their lives.”

As well as volunteering at St Nic’s to support our services, over the years, Pamela has also fundraised for us. This has been through orchestras she has been involved with and the Positive Steps Team, who are also great supporters of St Nic’s through their challenge events.

In 2023, Pamela also put in the miles for us and walked a marathon. Alongside some Nordic walking friends and led by Kevin and Sara of Positive Steps, Pamela walked the 26.2 miles from Wroxham to Whitwell.

Why does Pamela volunteer?

“I volunteer because I enjoy it,” she says.

“It is very rewarding, and I like helping people and passing on my life experience. I am not a medical person, so, for me, it’s really being able to talk and help people who are facing the end of life and bereavement.

“For me personally, it has fulfilled a need to be part of a community. It is a wonderful place to be. It is a family; I have made lots of friends, met lots of lovely people, and learnt a lot about myself and about life. Whatever life experience or skills you have, there is a place where you will fit in at the Hospice. There is a place for everybody in the Hospice movement.

“I also like to be a mouthpiece for the Hospice. I love showing people around the Hospice, meeting and greeting them, and I also like to tell people about the Hospice; people know I volunteer, and they often ask about it. I tell them that the Hospice isn’t about death and dying. It is about life, and it is about living.”