Volunteering at Trinity Hospice is a bitter sweet experience.
That’s according to Peter Hilton, who has been made a volunteer ambassador for the hospice on Low Moor Road, Bispham after several years helping in the day unit.
He said: “I hope I make a difference in people’s lives by doing fun things and bringing in a bit of cheer, but it can be sad when you see someone one week then they’re not there the week after.
“It was hard at the beginning because you make friends and then lose them, but you get used to it.”
Peter, of Cardinal Place, Thornton, has been volunteering for various organisations for a total of 50 years, but has been at Trinity for the last nine years.
He said: “When I retired I didn’t want to sit at home and do nothing, so I started volunteering for Trinity.
“What I like is meeting people. I like to talk to people, and really listen to get to know their life story, where they worked and if they were in the war. It’s always very interesting.
“I think speaking to people helps them cope with what they’re going through as well. I think I contribute to making their lives happier until it comes to the end of their lives.
“It’s hard to put into words what Trinity is, but it’s not a sad place.”
In his role as an ambassador, Peter, 69, will attend events on behalf of the hospice and receive cheques for the charity.
“I am privileged to have been asked to do this job,” he said.
The Gazette launched its Hospice Heroes campaign in October to be able to pay for the creation of single rooms and privacy areas for patients and their families, and update the furniture and fittings for the first time.
Peter said: “This work will bring the whole hospice up to date and make it more modern.
“What The Gazette is doing is really important.
“Without the appeal and the publicity it is giving Trinity, getting this money would take a lot longer.