Volunteering as a student is a great way to enhance skills, meet new people and give something back to the community. Elly Cornwall really enjoys her role with the Hospice as a Compassionate Neighbour and recently took some time out to tell us more about it...
What inspired you to become a Compassionate Neighbour?
"Since the age of 14, I’ve worked in hospitality alongside my studies. I absolutely love connecting with people from all walks of life. I can see how much it means to people to have a simple conversation or engagement with other people. I found this really rewarding in my previous job with my late friend Robert, who recently passed away. He came into my work at the same time every week and it meant everything to him and even more so, to me. This inspired me to become a Compassionate Neighbour."
How many hours do you dedicate to the role weekly/monthly?
"I dedicate an hour a week to my role. Roughly, 4 hours a month at a minimum. The role gives great flexibility in the way you can connect with your neighbour."
What does being a compassionate neighbour involve for you?
"Being a compassionate neighbour helps build relationships and creates bonds with individuals from different walks of life who may have never crossed paths. It is a fantastic way to learn, share and connect with individuals to help combat loneliness. Giving back to local people in your area is really rewarding."
What’s something you’ve learned from being involved with the Hospice?
"I’ve really learnt to prioritise life and do everything to be positive and happy. You really don’t know what is going on in people’s lives behind closed doors so being kind and being there for people is really important."
What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved?
"The only advice I would give to people thinking about being a Compassionate Neighbour is, give it a go! The Compassionate Neighbours team are some of the loveliest and most supportive people I have met. They really prioritise your well-being and put any hesitations at ease. Most importantly, you could change someones life, by dedicating just one hour a week. It really is that simple. Life changing really."
Thank you to Elly for sharing her experience and to the rest of our student volunteers for all their hard work, we are so grateful to have you on our team. You can find out more about becoming a Compassionate Neighbour and the amazing work we're doing to support people in the local community here. To read more about Student Volunteering Week 2020, visit the Student Volunteering Network website.
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