The Young Clinical Volunteers, all aged between 16 and 23, joined the programme last September. Since then they have spent four hours each week working directly with patients on the Inpatient Unit at the hospice and out in the community.

‘Most of the volunteers have an interest in a career in healthcare,’ says Ruth Bacon, Associate Director of Clinical Services at St Wilfrid’s Hospice. ‘This is the seventh time we have run the programme and it has spawned a lot of opportunities for the young people who have taken part.

‘This year’s volunteers have been hugely valued by everyone at the hospice. They bring a different dynamic and a different energy to hospice care. It’s been hugely humbling to see their development over the past 6 months and I hope they are proud of all they have achieved.’

The Young Clinical Volunteers themselves all spoke about their enjoyment of the programme and the amount they had learned. ‘I’ve really enjoyed the variety,’ said one of the volunteers who has just gained a place to study Paramedic Science at Swansea University. ‘Spending time on the ward and in the community taught me a lot. I think the biggest thing has been learning more about what it’s like to be a patient, it’s taught me to be compassionate and caring.’

St Wilfrid’s Hospice supports over 2,300 local people with life-limiting illness and their families and carers every year. Find out more at www.stwhospice.org