7th June 2016

My volunteering story, Glenn Barker

I have been a volunteer for only a year, but in that short time I have enjoyed the special quality that embodies working at St Richard’s. I started as a driver and have progressed to community volunteering, which has included brushing up on my ironing skills!

The ‘Morgan rides’ venture, now in its second year, has been the surprise highlight of my volunteering activities. Having purchased a Morgan 4/4 last June, I wanted to share the experience of this iconic car, hand-built in Malvern for over 80 years.  I approached St Richard’s Chief Executive, Mark, with an unusual offer: would it be possible to take patients out for a ‘spin’? Needless to say, he readily accepted!

I was unsure how patients would receive the offer. However, the response has far exceeded any expectations.  Morgan Rides have become a regular warm-weather Day Hospice activity. The rides have allowed patients to fulfill long held wishes, unexpected birthday celebrations and poignant last wishes. I have been humbled, and more often astounded at the determination and life force shown by those with significant mobility issues to squeeze into the rather challenging seat of a distinctly retro sports car.

It has been a privilege to take patients out, either for a short drive or the full Malvern Experience – a Glenn Barker volunteer and DH patient Gordon Clifford in the Morgan carreward to the senses dulled by the grind of life-limiting and challenging issues. The feedback from patients has been heartwarming. It has been wonderful to hear of the pleasure as well as the surprise the opportunity for a spin has given them.

Morgan Rides are about the joy of living in the moment and reliving, for some at least, the nostalgic tinge of youth that lies within us all. Next please!

Glenn Barker, St Richard’s volunteer

Find out more about becoming a St Richard’s volunteer.