Volunteer kitchen-helper, Diane Sporle, 60, took on her role three years ago, having retired early from British Telecom at Martlesham Heath. She had worked at BT for 23 years, most recently as a Project Manager, organising a team of 300.
Having taken retirement, Diane found herself seeking a volunteer position at St Elizabeth Hospice within the year to fill her time. She felt that working in the kitchen at the Foxhall Road main site would be suitable for her as she has always liked cooking.
Diane enthused: “It’s such a happy environment here and the Hospice offers a fantastic service to patients, carers and families alike.”
Her job in the kitchen incorporates “anything and everything” but most regularly involves her preparing food, managing the dishwasher, running the till and serving patients, carers, families and staff at the busy lunchtime periods in the dining room.
She went on a Food Hygiene course as part of her induction and found the whole process really interesting.
“I didn’t realise how complex the organisation is until I had my Induction training; it was fascinating.”
Diane speaks very highly of the Catering team: “The people in the kitchen are a good laugh; they work hard but have a lot of fun. If it wasn’t a nice environment, I wouldn’t come in.
“I have made many new friends here and feel like I have contributed something by the end of my shift.”
Diane volunteers every Monday between 12 and 2pm; she fits this in between her child-minding duties as a grandmother of four. She enjoys the feeling of contributing to such a positive place.
She said: “If you go into St Elizabeth Hospice, you soon realise what a happy place it is, it is not the miserable experience you may anticipate.”
Diane had no previous dealings with St Elizabeth Hospice prior to joining the team of volunteers but she was well aware of its service as an Ipswich local.
“I shall carry on volunteering here for as long as I can.”
Find out more about joining Diane and our fantastic volunteers on our volunteer vacancies page.