Meet our volunteers: Laura Carlton

Laura Carlton – Front of house volunteer – Head Office (Finchley)

I’ve been working as a front-of-house volunteer at the Hospice for about eight years now. I’d been here before as a visitor, and I always thought it seemed such an amazing place. I had a bit of extra time on my hands and decided I wanted to do something useful, so I applied to be a volunteer. 

In my professional career, I was in reception management for big companies in places like the City, Canary Wharf and Mayfair. So, reception was always my passion, and front-of-house came naturally to me. You’re sort of like security as well as someone who meets and greets visitors, but here it’s even nicer because you get to chat to and interact with visitors and be there for them in their hour of need.  

A big part of my role is being a listener. A lot of people spend time in the coffee shop when the patient they’re visiting is sleeping, or if they get upset. Sometimes people are a closed book, but often they just want to talk and have someone listen. 

It’s nice to be needed; it’s nice to be helpful; it’s nice to give back. You can build relationships with some of the visitors when they’ve been coming in for a while to see a patient. When people come in, they look at your name badge, because they want to know your name when you’ve made them feel good.