GARY Scott enjoyed volunteering at St Clare’s Hospice so much that he turned it into a career.
The 49-year-old, from Hebburn, was inspired to help out at the hospice in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, after seeing how they cared for his mum, Joan, in the final days of her life.
She died from lung cancer in June 2008, aged 73.
Dad-of-five, Mr Scott, said: “The care my mam received was first-class, but it wasn’t just her being looked after, it was the whole family.”
Mr Scott began volunteering in October 2009, and fell in love with the hospice even more.
And just a few months later he began training as an auxiliary nurse.
He said: “The hospice is a big part of my life, so I was really happy to get a job here. I’m over the moon.
“It’s a great place to work. The atmosphere is brilliant, and the patients and their families really appreciate the care that they get. It’s like a home from home for them, and the hospice gives them the respect and dignity that they deserve.
“I love my job, so getting up to come here doesn’t bother me. There’s not a lot of people who can say that.”
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE FOR ST CLARE’S
Now Mr Scott is asking South Tynesiders to help the hospice – which provides palliative care – in its hour of need.
It has annual running costs of £2m, £1.4m of which it must raise itself.
But this year it is facing a £50,000 shortfall, and the Gazette launched its c/o St Clare’s campaign to help raise the funds.
Mr Scott said: “People should get behind the campaign without a doubt.
“I think a lot of people don’t realise that we are a charity and rely on the help of the public to stay open and keep doing what we do.
“The more people that get on board through this campaign, the better it is for everybody.
“Everyone we talk to appreciates the hard work that St Clare’s does.
“If we don’t get the funding that we need, it’s not just the staff who will suffer, it’s all the people who use the hospice – the inpatients, people who come for the day, and people who use the clinics.
“Stopping this first-class service would upset a lot of people.
“Hopefully, this campaign will make a difference and people will see how much we need them.”