6th June 2019
Volunteers Week: Chloe's story
During Volunteers Week we are celebrating the contribution of our wonderful volunteers and sharing some of their stories. Today we feature our volunteer counsellor Chloe.
Chloe Edwards, 24, first noticed Nottinghamshire Hospice from the bus as she travelled to college. She felt drawn towards the building and wondered what went on here.
Now Chloe, who is studying for a three-year postgraduate qualification in counselling and psychotherapy, is a regular volunteer at the hospice. She started as a Day Therapy volunteer in 2016, befriending and spending time with patients, now she counsels patients and bereaved relatives. This year she needs to complete 120 hours of counselling as part of her course.
Experience of losing her grandfather to cancer when she was four, and the effect of his death on her own family, inspired her to want to help bereaved people.
‘Nobody in the family knew how ill Grandpa was and when he died nobody really talked about it. My Grandma is still affected by his death all these years later. I don’t know anything about Grandpa as a person because the subject is taboo, which is sad.
“Not talking can have long term affects and seeing the impact made me want to help people because bereaved people often get forgotten.”
Chloe developed an interest in end of life care after finishing her undergraduate degree and she completed a placement at the Derby Royal Hospital palliative care unit before coming to the hospice.
“I felt drawn to palliative care. It just feels natural and the most valuable use of my time. It is unusual for someone of my age to go into this area as people generally avoid the subject of death and dying. People think it’s morbid and sad, but it isn’t.”
Coming to the hospice confirmed her conviction that end of life counselling is what she wants to do with her career.
“When you walk in it just feels warm and safe. Being here grounds me. It helps me to have a broader perspective on life than some other people my age. If I’ve had a stressful week, coming here puts it into perspective. It makes you value your own life more.
“When you meet people who are dying, their outlook and attitude is so unique. It makes them a lot more honest and forthright in their expression. I really appreciate that honesty.”