My name is Abi and my journey with Tŷ Hafan began in January 2013.
Having graduated from my Complementary Therapies degree in the summer of 2012 I was eager to use my skills in massage, reflexology and aromatherapy in an environment where the benefits would be palpable. Volunteering at Tŷ Hafan provided the perfect medium for this.
I originally began visiting the hospice on a weekly basis. I was able to provide treatments for staff, family members and, most importantly (for myself) the children using the incredible facilities that Tŷ Hafan offer. I was welcomed with open arms by staff and service-users alike.
When I was given the opportunity to apply for a maternity cover post, I grabbed it with both hands – and was lucky enough to get it. Following on from this I remained with Tŷ Hafan as, at first, a sessional worker – before once again gaining an ongoing part-time role.
It is both an honour and a privilege to be allowed into the worlds of these people at what may be a vulnerable time in their lives – be they child, young person or carer; and also to be able to provide positive touch, which amongst the many procedures, interventions and day-to-day activities that often fill these people’s lives can easily become lost.
Without first stepping through the doors at Tŷ Hafan as a volunteer I would not be where I am today, working alongside incredible staff members, with inspirational people, and pushing myself both personally and professionally on a daily basis.
Volunteering was a doorway that has set me on a path. This is a path that I intend – and hope – to follow for many years to come.