Nurse Marcia Foy is itching to get started after signing up for a charity’s “invaluable” Help at Home service. The 57-year-old already juggles her busy part-time job with volunteering for EACH. She has been supporting its Facilities team since November, assisting with various tasks including cleaning and working in the kitchen at Milton. Now she is about to start helping one of the families the charity directly supports, as part of its Help at Home team.
Volunteers are matched with the family of a child receiving care at one of its three hospices – Milton, The Treehouse, in Ipswich, and The Nook, in Framingham Earl, near Norwich. They then have an opportunity to provide vital practical support with things like gardening, decorating or any other tasks the family needs doing. The service also includes helping with dog-walking, cooking, cleaning, shopping, sibling support and DIY.
Marcia, who lives in Chatteris, has been matched with a family and is due to start at the end of January. “I’m so excited to get started,” said the mum of two, who is married to Steve. “While I love being at the hospice, this is going to be different because I’m going to be directly helping a family. It’s going to be hands-on and I have the opportunity to build a relationship with a family, which is very exciting.
“I’ll do whatever they need me to do to support them, be it cleaning, ironing or shopping. I’ll do anything to help and take some of the pressure off and see the service in general as absolutely invaluable.”
Marcia is passionate about EACH and started volunteering after taking part in its Ride for Life challenge. Cyclists can sign up for this year’s event here. She raised vital funds and then wanted to know and do more.
“I loved it and, after finding out about the charity, decided I’d like to help,” she said. I made contact, completed some training and was then in a position to get started. It came at a time when I was about to reduce my hours at work, so the timing was perfect. It’s lovely to have the opportunity to do something so rewarding and worthwhile.
“I absolutely love volunteering. It’s been a brilliant experience and everyone’s so friendly. There’s a family atmosphere at the hospice and spending time there is a very humbling experience. It’s allowed me to see first-hand the difference it makes to children, young people and their families. The help they get is incredible. I find it very rewarding and hope that whatever I do, even if it’s only a little job, makes a difference.”
Marcia, also a keen runner, certainly likes keeping busy. In addition to her fantastic volunteering, she also works part-time as a neonatal nurse at Peterborough City Hospital. It is a job she has been doing for two decades, although she has been in nursing her entire working life, since she was 18.
“I’m a big believer in staying active,” she said. “I hate sitting around and think it ages you. I’d much rather be busy, physically and mentally. I like to keep my brain active and think it’s important to focus on the important things in life. Other things can wait. I’ve always been a busy person and my husband will often throw his hands in the air and say ‘can’t you just sit down’. Even if there’s nothing to do, I’ll find something!
“Nursing has been my life and working in the neonatal ward is very special. I feel blessed to have such an amazing job. I also love my volunteering at the hospice and now I’m excited to be embarking on my Help at Home adventure. I’m very lucky.”