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Tracey Richards’ retirement sounds idyllic. Quality time spent with her partner and sons watching football, weekly coffee catchups with friends, trips to the theatre, and long walks with her Jack Russel, Ozzie.

But despite having a full schedule that includes the occasional holiday somewhere hot and sunny, Tracey, 59, from Ashey, Ryde, volunteers every week to support Mountbatten.

“I moved to the Island in 2017 and knew I wanted to do some volunteer work to support a local charity,” Tracey said, speaking from the inpatient unit at Mountbatten, where she helps every Thursday.  “I chose Mountbatten because it is a worthwhile cause and gives much-needed support to people who are dying, and their families.”

We rely on the generosity of people like Tracey, whose support enables us to provide the best possible care for people across the Island.

“Giving something back is so rewarding. It makes you appreciate what you have and that others are suffering and need your help. I get a great sense of achievement from giving my time to support others.”

Volunteering is a great way to enhance your CV, build your experience, boost your social life, and give back to your community. As well as volunteering on the inpatient unit, Tracey is also a Mountbatten Neighbour and visits Angie once a week to keep her company.

Angie is in her 70s and her husband recently died. She has regular bereavement counselling with Mountbatten alongside a weekly visit from Tracey.

“We sit and chat and put the world to rights,” Tracey said.

Mountbatten Neighbours are a group of trained volunteers who offer their time, companionship, and support to people living near them who have serious illnesses, or who are older.

The project aims to keep people connected to their community and protect them from loneliness and isolation.

“I love being a Neighbour and knowing I’ve made a difference to Angie’s day. And the friendship we have developed is important to both of us,” said Tracey.

Back on the inpatient unit, Tracey is preparing for her afternoon shift. “I serve lunch to patients and drinks to their visitors, checking on them regularly to see if I can get them anything. I love stopping for chats as I go round.”

“The hospice is an amazing place. Whilst there is sadness there is also happiness and laughter. I meet wonderful people – patients, families, and staff. It is one of the friendliest places I have ever had the pleasure of working in.”

With the demand for our services increasing rapidly, we need more people like Tracey to give their time, creativity, experience, and knowledge to fill a wide range of volunteer roles. There are opportunities to fit whatever time you have available, and we are flexible to make sure it fits with your life. And as Tracey says, there are lots of benefits for you, too.

“I would recommend volunteering with Mountbatten to anyone. Being part of a community and giving back selflessly. It will enrich your life.”

Come and join Tracey and our amazing team of volunteers!

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