Meet our volunteers: Mike Waters

Mike Waters – Front of house volunteer – Head Office (Finchley)

When I retired about three years ago, I realised that I had a lot of spare time and decided I wanted to volunteer. I already knew someone who worked at the hospice, and she told me they were looking for reception volunteers.  

Working on reception has just suited me down to the ground. I’m probably slightly different to a lot of the other volunteers here, because they will have a personal connection with the hospice. For me, it was just about giving my time. 

I’ve met some very interesting people here, not only volunteers, but also family members and patients from all walks of life, because I think it’s fair to say that illness doesn’t choose. No matter who you are, if you’re going to get sick, you’re going to get sick.  

There’s no such thing as a typical day here – it can go from nothing to 1,000,000 miles an hour in ten minutes, and that’s one of the things that I like about it. You can’t predict what’s going to happen all day, but it’s fantastic! 

To be a good volunteer, you need to have the ability to communicate with people. You need to be able to read body language and work out what you can and can’t say to the families, and when they need a shoulder to cry on. It’s a fantastic thing to do, I get so much satisfaction from it. The team here are amazing from the top down.