A kind-hearted Dundee woman has reflected back on 25 years of helping to ensure people live out their last days as comfortably as possible.
Christine McKenna has volunteered at NHS Tayside’s Roxburghe House hospice since 1995, helping to arrange and tidy patients’ flowers.
As part of National Volunteers Week 2020, she has decided to share her story of how rewarding the experience has been.
She first became involved back in 1995 and Christine, who turns 77 this year, has been doing it ever since.
Speaking to the Tele she said: “I go to Roxburghe House to arrange patients’ flowers, tidy up their flowers and change over their water, and I do the arrangements for the chapel and if there is enough on the front desk as well.
“The voluntary service had got in touch with the floral art club members to see if they could come in to Roxburghe House to do the flower arrangements on a regular basis, and in 1995 I said I would do it – and I have been doing it ever since.
“I enjoy it and I get a great deal of fulfilment, it makes you realise how lucky you are.
“When I see the patients I say to myself ‘what do I have to moan about?’
“The patients really appreciate the work we do, whenever I ask if they need their water changed they always say ‘thank you so much’, it is really fulfilling.
“To be able to do something for people when they are not feeling well really cheers them up.”
Christine had trained as a nurse in Edinburgh back in the 1960s and said she wanted to give something back through her volunteering.
She continued: “Back in those days it was the job of the junior nurses to make sure all the flowers were attended to and all the vases had clean eater.
“Over the years that was topped and now it is up to the volunteers today.
“You don’t get flowers so much in the general hospitals, but in the likes of Roxburghe House flowers are encouraged, and the patients say there is nothing nicer than someone coming to visit with a beautiful bunch of flowers.
“For the past 25 years it was been a big part of my life and I am just disappointed I can’t go in this Friday, I want to be there but we’re not allowed to go in just now.
“I won’t be able to fulfil that obligation to Roxburghe House.
“It is really sad but I look forward positively to better things to come.
“I just felt this was a good way of giving something back and the patients are in my thoughts, I want to be able to do something to help them, even if it just something small.
“As long as I am fit and able I will continue to do it – I have a great desire to live until I am 102 so when I am 100 I get the royal telegram and I will need two years to go on and on about it and drive everyone mad with my card.”