Outgoing and upbeat Danny Jones takes time out of his busy life to volunteer once a fortnight at St Elizabeth Hospice.
He has been volunteering in Day Care for over a year and has won the hearts of everyone he comes into contact with – patients, families, staff and other volunteers.
Danny has worked as a hairdresser since he was 15 years old and has established himself in Ipswich for the last 24 years.
Danny’s approach is one that he brings with him into the Hospice where he is prepared to “do anything that needs doing, wherever and with whomever.” If a patient would like their hair done, Danny’s your man. If it’s a manicure that’s required, ask Danny. If it’s a stroll in the garden and a chat, Danny will be there.
“I wanted to give time; you can keep fundraising as much as you like and it’s essential to the running of St Elizabeth Hospice, but people also need time and that’s a valuable currency too.”
Danny helps patients in Day care every other Thursday so gets to know individuals, who attend the Day Centre on that day, which he enjoys.
“Here there’s time for people, time to chat, listen, build up a rapport and, most importantly, have a laugh.
“I enjoy it all – particularly the personal interaction. It’s also fabulous to see how patients form bonds and friendships; often by sharing their own experiences they are able to help each other.”
Through his volunteering, Danny has been surprised and impressed by the extensive range of services on offer, particularly for the families and carers of patients.
“Families and carers don’t know about all that is available to them: complementary therapies, massage, hair-care, counselling, to name but a few; however, it’s the little things: the listening; the cups of tea; the offer of a seat and a listening ear that make a big difference too.”
In volunteering and taking part in Hospice fundraising events like the Midnight Walk, Danny feels that he is giving something back, as he says:
“After all, none of us know when we or our loved-ones may need this care.”