I thought that it was going to be a sad place with dying children but it isn’t like that at all – it is a fun place to be.
Hi, I am Mike Lovell and I’ve been a Brian House volunteer for 18 months now.
I wasn’t consciously looking for a volunteering opportunity but I attended a charity ball with my wife and by coincidence we were sat on the same table as Carol, the Clinical Manager at Brian House. I was inspired by the event and talking to Carol and expressed an interest in supporting the charity.
To be honest, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I wanted to do more than just make a one-off donation. I had no previous experience of hospices or working with children who needed special care. Carol invited me to Brian House to have a look around. Before the visit I thought, like many others I expect, that it was going to be a sad place with dying children but it isn’t like that at all – it is a fun place to be.
I am in my thirties, work full-time as a Financial Advisor, am married and have two children aged 13 and 6 years old. Despite leading a busy life I find time to volunteer every Thursday from 4-8pm.
I’ve used my professional networks to enable Brian House to make links with a local equestrian centre. Each month up to 6 children enjoy ‘pony play time’ – some children just stroke the ponies, others will ride them, for many children it is the first time they have ever seen a pony. To see the big smiles on their faces is fantastic.
Since volunteering at Brian House I have been asked by my employer to encourage my colleagues to volunteer for charities and community projects.
My friends and colleagues often say ‘Oh I don’t think I could do that’ but I enjoy it. The staff are brilliant to work with and the children are great, I love playing with them. Volunteering at Brian House is very rewarding.