40 Faces of hospice care | Meet Stephen Currie, volunteer

3rd May 2023

A man, Stepehn Currie, who is a volunteer at St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

When a set of unfortunate circumstances led Stephen to speak to a St Barnabas charity shop manager on the Lincoln High Street, little did he know that the visit would be the beginning of his time as a valuable volunteer at the Hospice.

Leukaemia and a bone marrow transplant meant Stephen was unable to work for a long time, so he was looking for a volunteering role. When he walked into our shop that day, he immediately knew it was where he’d like to volunteer his time. He mentioned it to the manager and got himself an interview the following week.

Stephen was keen, arriving two hours early to his interview. And three hours later, he was officially a Hospice volunteer! On his first day, Stephen started by refreshing the DVD stock and worked at lightning speed. He picked things up quickly and soon trained on the till, becoming a whizz. So much so that Stephen gave his trainer a refresher when the team returned to the shop after the Covid-19 lockdown!

Stephen’s skills didn’t go unnoticed, and his manager suggested he train to become a volunteer leader and take on some managerial responsibilities. After some thought, Stephen decided to go for it and moved to the Burton Road shop in Lincoln. He took his lead from his manager after seeing how well she looked after the volunteers, and he’s a popular team member, making sure everyone enjoys what they’re doing. As well as looking after his fellow volunteers, Stephen was soon sorting clothes, bric-a-brac, games, and toys and keeping the shop neat. But ask anyone, and they’ll say not to let Stephen near the chinaware otherwise there’ll be more tidying up!

Stephen impressed his manager so much that she nominated him for the BBC Make A Difference Volunteer of the Year Award. Stephen was delighted and when Michael Nortin from BBC Radio Lincolnshire called him unexpectedly to let him know, he took the opportunity to talk to the football commentator about Lincoln City FC – Stephen’s favourite team!

Stephen describes himself as similar to a Swiss army knife – very useful! We’d say that like a Swiss army knife, Stephen makes life easier, for our customers, our staff and most importantly, for our patients and their families.

In his own words…

“My first thought was to get some work experience through volunteering. But when I found out more about the Hospice, it made me more passionate about it. I also always remember that without my transplant I might have needed their care. I always say when one door closes, another door opens, and I’m glad it was the Hospice shop door for me.”

To see all 40 Faces and their stories, please visit: https://stbarnabashospice.co.uk/40faces

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