Meet Kath: A Wirral Hospice volunteer since day one

Published on: 20/04/2022

Kath Kenyon is a delightful lady. The perfect volunteer. Helpful, committed, thoughtful, kind and, fantastic for us, she’s been helping at Wirral Hospice St John’s since June 1983! That is, day one!

She’s the middle child of five siblings and her old primary school teacher said that was a good thing because it meant she was the Jam in the Sandwich.

Lending a hand wherever, and whenever asked, she was most keen to return here after the early months of the pandemic meant we had to send all our volunteers home.

Kath showing she’s the ‘Jam in the Sandwich’ between Fiona and Sharon from our catering team

To help our fundraising team she has regularly helped as a socially distanced receptionist, and taken on other responsibilities, in the space where our gift shop was previously (the gift shop is now closed for the foreseeable future).

However she is also and has always been, throughout all those years, a ‘general duties’ Inpatient ward volunteer.

This means that any help the kitchen team might request around teatime delivering our patients’ evening coffees, teas and biscuits, with a friendly smile. Although, masks are mandatory on the ward right now, you can see the smile in Kath’s eyes!

She started volunteering while she was still working as a medical laboratory scientific officer. The early part of her career was in a time when lab technicians would do the work of modern day phlebotomists and take patients bloods themselves before taking them for analysis.

This brought her into contact with patients and she was always keen to remember that the bloods she was analysing came from real people, with real lives, and that it was so important to get the analyses right.

Down the years she’s had more chats with patients, and often with relatives and other visitors too, than can possibly be counted. Hearing their stories and exchanging interesting life stories is the motivation behind Kath’s ongoing devotion to the hospice.

She’s a people person and wants to give most of the credit to other people.

“We’re here to support the professionals and down the years I’ve been blessed with volunteer colleagues and friends that share the values we see being practised every day at the hospice. I must mention, (no surnames but you know who you are), Norma, Tina, Bill, Margaret, Cathy and Betty who I’ve had the pleasure to volunteer with for a great many, if not all of those years. Special People.”

As you are too Kath. We know you’ve got more to tell and we’ll look forward to retelling it when you, and the hospice, reach a magnificent FORTY years of service in 2023!

If you are interested in volunteering for Wirral Hospice St John’s, at the hospice or in the community at one of our charity shops please visit in the first instance to see our current vacancies. 

You will also find Kath’s, and other stories of hospice life in our Spring / Summer 2022 newsletter, From The Heart, online here.