Volunteering at Harold’s Cross Hospice

Pictured above, left to right, Sama Khalil and Joey Walshe

4th year students Sama Khalil and Joey Walshe recently spent a week volunteering at Harold’s Cross Hospice. Here, Sama tells us a bit about her time there.

My experience at Harold’s Cross Hospice has been nothing but rewarding and eye opening.
Throughout my experience, I was given various responsibilities, such as feeding the patients. Many of them had issues regarding swallowing, so it was a must that they had to be fed soft food. Each resident had a nutrition table with detailed information in terms of what they can or can’t eat. Furthermore, many of them suffered from dysphagia, which hinders one’s ability to swallow. In response to this, I had to use thickener in their drinks to aid their control over liquids. This was one of the many interesting things that I learned in my experience at Harold’s Cross Hospice.

In addition to that, I learned how to properly handle a wheelchair. I dealt with many different types, and my mentor, Jimmy Scurry, who did a fantastic job explaining the mechanics. He was one of the many kind staff member that I interacted with daily. Not to mention the other students that I worked with from other schools, which I became friends with almost immediately. It is crucial to be surrounded by optimistic people who have similar mind-sets to you- and that’s exactly what I experienced. I was around people that wanted to help and give back to the community.

Lastly, another aspect that I found fascinating was the history behind the hospice. I was taken on a tour to learn about the origins of the founder, Mary Aikenhead. Her compassion and kindness is what led to the formation of Harold’s Cross Hospice.

To conclude, I absolutely loved my experience at Harold’s s Cross Hospice. Although it was only a week, I left with countless, unforgettable memories. I learned about different disabilities, the founding history and much more. I would recommend everyone to volunteer at a hospice, as it is a remarkable experience.