Recite Me

Volunteering at Priscilla Bacon Lodge (PBL).

Learn about the volunteering experience at Priscilla Bacon Lodge from Catherine, the Volunteer Coordinator at PBL.

The new Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which has been built on an 8-acre site adjacent to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, is home to a state-of-the-art palliative care unit. As well as inpatient beds, a day unit and a wellbeing centre, the Lodge will act as hub for community-based services, enabling people to receive care in their own homes. It will replace the current Priscilla Bacon Lodge –on Unthank Road – and will build on the 40 years of outstanding care given to thousands of people around Norfolk.

Have you ever considered Volunteering?

Discover Catherine’s experience of working and supporting volunteer’s at Priscilla Bacon Lodge.

Can you sum up your role in a few sentences?

My role is to Recruit, train, coordinate, manage, and support the Volunteers who work within Specialist Palliative care Services. I work alongside the wider multidisciplinary team to develop and expand the role of Volunteers to support the operational delivery of high-quality care for patients and their families.

Explain the different types of volunteers you have at PBL?

The majority of our Volunteers are either Retired, people in full time employment, carers, students, or full time parents. We also have volunteers who are Volunteering to gain confidence or experience as part of their back to work programme. Many have had an experience of losing a loved one either in PBL and want to give something back and make a difference to other people going through a difficult time.

What is it like working at PBL?

I have been working at PBL for over 6 years now. When I tell people where I work, they always think it would be a sad place to work, but it really isn’t. It is a calm, friendly and welcoming place to work There is a wonderful atmosphere and a team spirit that is felt by patients and family as much as the staff and volunteers who work there.

Can you explain the impact/contribution volunteers make at PBL (feedback from families, etc)?

Volunteers play a vital role at PBL and have an enormous positive impact, enhancing the experience of patients and their families. Both directly working with patients and families and also behind the scenes. They help with practical tasks, as well as offering companionship, arts and craft activities, music and pet therapy, a listening ear, a cuppa and a shoulder to cry on.

A few quotes from the staff who work with our Volunteers;

“Volunteers are an invaluable part of the team here at PBL the unit would not be the same without them”

“The Volunteers are Invaluable in helping in the day to day running of the unit and also providing extra’s patients would not otherwise get such as extra talk time, drinks trolley etc”

“Volunteers have the time to spend with patients, and to talk to them in a non-clinical capacity and also sitting with patients who do not want to be alone.

“Volunteers are able to assist with tasks such as meals time, changing beds, offering drinks which takes some of the weight off of staff.

“Volunteers Talk to friends and family, non-clinical support for relatives.

“The Volunteers at PBL are Invaluable. They engage with patients, are friendly faces, Cheer up days! and help with drinks and meals which patients love!

“ I would not want to be without the volunteers”

Examples of Feedback received from Families about our Volunteers;

Thank you for your kindness to our lovely Mum, Thank you for lending her the lovely book. What you do here brings so much joy. You are incredible.

A daughter mentioned how amazing Ernie was whilst her father was in PBL. She said he lifted the mood, showed respect and compassion, and she knows her father really enjoyed when Ernie was on shift. She specifically mentioned how Ernie came to say goodbye to her father as he had finished for the day, and she recalled him saying ‘See you Wednesday and her father smiled, and gave Ernie a thumbs up. She said it doesn’t seem like much, but she knew how much that meant to her father and seeing him smile was so lovely for her. Unfortunately, Ernie did not see him again as he sadly died on the Tuesday, but the daughter felt so touched by Ernie making the effort with her father.

Volunteers on PBL have been outstanding

The volunteers on PBL have been outstanding, offering practical help (meals, drinks) to emotional support when it all gets too much. They are quietly available and sensitive to our needs, making us laugh or offering a hand to hold. Thank you.

What is your favourite part of your job?

My most favourite part of my job is meeting so many interesting people from so many different backgrounds and with so many life experiences. They all have a story to tell.

How can people get involved if they want to volunteer at PBL/any opportunities you are looking for?

We are always looking for more volunteers. I would love to hear from anyone who would like to join our team. People can get involved by either calling me on 01603 255719 or sending an email to

Opportunities available at present are;

  • Gardening Volunteers
  • Meet and Greet
  • Reception
  • Inpatient Unit