Daughter says “volunteering helped 82 year old father feel less isolated”

A Ruskington woman praises the volunteering opportunities at St Barnabas Hospice, following the death of her father

Ken Cox, 82, had been volunteering at the Ruskington book shop since it opened in 2013. Following the death of his wife in 2016, Ken had found friendship and company through volunteering, before he died suddenly on 21st May from a stroke.

After 36 years’ service in the RAF, Ken and his wife, Moyra, moved to Ruskington during retirement to be closer to family. Both Ken and Moyra had always volunteered in their spare time, so Ken decided to volunteer at the St Barnabas book shop in Ruskington.

Ken and Moyra’s daughter, Lydia Sheldon, 49 said:

“I’ve been told Dad was a great sales man in the shop, and he enjoyed talking to customers and advising them on books and films.

“Even on the days he wasn’t at work, he would often call into the shop on his scooter to say ‘hello’ to the other volunteers and check they were working hard!”

Ken’s life changed drastically when his wife, Moyra, died aged 86 on 29th May 2016 from multiple organ failure in St Barnabas Hospice, Grantham.

Lydia said:

“Although Mum was only in the Hospice for a night, I can’t thank them enough for the support and care our family received.

“After Mum died, Dad decided to sell her haberdashery items and give this money to St Barnabas in gratitude for her care. In total, this came to over £1,000.

“I’m so glad my dad was able to continue volunteering for St Barnabas after Mum’s death, as the book shop was a brilliant help in ensuring that he wasn’t as isolated.

“Even though she was ill for a year prior to her death, Mum always encouraged Dad to continue volunteering at the book shop because she knew it was so beneficial for him.”

Ken has always been highly regarded in his life, which can be seen from his time in the RAF where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). This is a silver medal for distinguished service and gallantry.

Lydia looks back fondly at the memories she shared with her dad, before his death:

“One of my most special memories of Dad is our Wednesday film nights. He often came round with a DVD he had bought from the St Barnabas shop, or one of his own ‘golden oldies’, and we would watch it with wine, cheese and biscuits.

“Dad’s taste in film was very different to my own, but I always treasured that time together.

“I’m glad that Dad found so much joy from volunteering with St Barnabas, as it indulged his love of film and books, and kept him going after my mum’s death.

To find out more about the range of volunteering roles across Lincolnshire at St Barnabas Hospice, email volunteering@stbarnabashospice.co.uk or call Volunteer Services on 01522 518 232.

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