Getting started with care

We’re here to guide you on your care journey and make finding the right type of care as simple as possible.

Our Locations
map

Discover which of our services are available in your area.

Resource details

  • Author: HammondCare
  • Read time: 1 min. read

Topics

General
Volunteering
  • Volunteering
  • 20 May 2024
  • Blog

Serving compassion one sip at a time

  • Author: HammondCare
  • Read time: 1 min. read

Each Friday afternoon, David Flakelar, dedicates his time as a volunteer at HammondCare's palliative care ward in Greenwich Hospital. His involvement revolves around the "Happy Hour" trolley, or Jolly Trolley, which he lovingly loads with refreshments and snacks to take around the ward.

David's arrival is an opportunity for patients, families and friends to take a much-needed break from what are undoubtedly tough times.

For David, the trolley serves as more than just a means of delivering drinks.

It's a chance to pause, to have a glass of juice, the favourite lemon-lime and bitters,  or even wine and perhaps most importantly, to have a conversation. Through this simple act, David creates space for connection, allowing those he meets to share their stories and experiences.

With a warm smile and genuine interest, David’s offer of afternoon drinks takes them to another time, a chance to bring a sense of normality to what is a challenging time for everyone.

‘The trolley is an icebreaker,’ explains David. ‘I’ll offer the patient and their visitors a drink and a snack and then I might start a conversation perhaps about a book that is by the bedside, or a picture of the family on the windowsill’

Patients and their families are often surprised but grateful for the service provided by volunteers like David. They appreciate the opportunity to share their stories, fears, and hopes with someone who genuinely cares. For David, forming these bonds with patients brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to his volunteering efforts.

Volunteer Coordinator Wendy is grateful for the support of the volunteers.

‘We have so many wonderful people volunteer here at Greenwich hospital. The Happy Hour trolley is taken around twice a day for everyone to enjoy.’

David's journey as a volunteer began with a reunion with an old friend, Colin, whose health brought him to Greenwich Hospital. Their shared memories of sailing adventures were reignited over a drink from the "Happy Hour" trolley, inspiring David to become a volunteer himself.

Volunteering, for David, is about bringing light into the lives of others. As he wheels the trolley through the ward, he knows that each interaction, no matter how small, has the power to uplift and make a difference. And for him, that's what it's all about—serving compassion, one sip at a time.

Share joy. Volunteer with us.