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Unsung hero: Hospice volunteer soothes patients with harp music
A compassionate and “super” hospice volunteer soothes terminally-ill patients with harp music.
Geraldine Worthington, from Kingston, has volunteered at the Princess Alice Hospice’s Esher home for almost four years, doing weekly shifts.
She began playing the miniature instrument when its owner, a friend who had been in the care of the hospice, died some years ago.
She said: “I’m actually an oboe player. Her family let me have the harp.
“It is popular with the patients, the families and nurses.
“When I get spare moments I like to just sit down with the harp and let it waft around the corridors.”
Mrs Worthington, 66, said moving into volunteering was an “obvious step forward” after her career as an acupuncturist, and the death of her husband, a bereavement counsellor.
She said: “I’m quite used to very poorly people.
“It’s very useful from [their families’] point of view that we have got plenty of room and quiet space for them to sit down and tell us about their fears, or to cry really.”
But she added: “I’m not the only one – there’s ten of us in the team.”
Hospice chaplain Revd Dr Steve Nolan said Mrs Worthington “never fails to pitch up for her sessions”.
He said: “She is super. She is a very gentle person and she has got a very endearing smile.
“She establishes a rapport with people quite quickly.”
Mrs Worthington “will come in on occasion on the weekend or during the week, just to play for those people and also to play in our day hospice”, he added.
He added: “She is very compassionate.”
Princess Alice Hospice is on the lookout for new volunteers. If you would like to get involved and lend an ear to patients, call Revd Nolan on 01372 461806 or visit pah.org.uk/chaplaincy-volunteer.
Interviews will take place on January 23, 24, 30, and 31.
Do you know an unsung hero? Call 020 8744 4244 or email email@example.com.
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