Pamela Jones, who plays Your Hospice Lottery to support St Helena Hospice, recently celebrated winning £250 in the draw. This is her first big win since she started playing. When we called her to share the exciting news she exclaimed:
“Wonderful! That’s cheered me up, I’ll be giving some to the Ukrainian children and then treat myself.”
A few weeks after letting the news settle, we caught up with her to find out how it felt to be a winner and learn more about why she plays to support St Helena Hospice.
When we asked Pamela how she will be spending her winning’s, she commented:
“Ah this is quite interesting. I have been reading a book, which is a diary about a girl in Ukraine, she’s 12 years old. It’s just a fantastic book about how it is to be a child in the war, and how frightening it was.”
The publisher of the book, ‘You Don’t Know What War Is’, are matching donations up to £10,000. So, Pamela is going to donate some of her winnings to the cause, which will be double the help. An incredibly generous gesture, which is rooted within her kind and giving nature.
Pamela, who is retired, has been taking care of her good friend for 30 years now. “He became so disabled that he couldn’t get up the stairs. So, I told him to come and stay with me.” This is just a reflection on the care and dedication she gives back. Always putting others before herself.
However, she will be treating herself to some of the winning’s as she stated, “not all of it will be donated, part of it will be a treat.”
Pamela has played the lottery for quite a while to give regular support to St Helena Hospice. A cause that is close to her heart. Back when the hospice opened in 1985, Pamela worked as a volunteer in the hospice. To give something back to the local community. Even her daughters would help in the school holidays.
“I lived fairly near the hospice, about 3 or 4 miles away. I thought it was something I could do because the children were still young. I also did Samaritans and what have you. I thought it would be a nice thing to do.”
She was very keen to make a difference to patient’s wellbeing. So, was eager to work on the ward.
“I was very keen that I should go on the ward. But I expected to get gardening or sweeping up. However, when I went for my interview, I was very happy because after a few minutes, they said what would you like to do? I said ‘anything, anything that’s useful’. Then the chap that was interviewing me said ‘I think you will be brilliant on the ward’, which was lovely.
On the 11th April 1986, the hospice was officially opened by the Queen Mother. At this time, Pamela was volunteering at the hospice every week. She shows us a photo and reminisces on that special day.
11th April 1986, Pamela Jones at St Helena Hospice official opening with the Queen Mother
“This was taken by the hospice when she came to open it. That’s me and my daughter. Those flowers she’s holding are from a basket of flowers that were given to a patient to present to the Queen Mother.”
It was a very special day to be able to meet with the Queen Mother, and to show the extraordinary work of the hospice.
Pamela used to work one evening a week helping on the wards. Then the next week she would help in the kitchen. “So, I did every other Tuesday or Thursday. I had a mixture which was nice.” She explains what she had to do within her role:
“Well, in the kitchen, we used to take the food through to the patients. Which was a nice thing to do. Just preparing the meals and helping the chef. On the wards we used to just go and talk to the patients if they needed anything, we would see if we could get that. Made them comfortable and chatted really.”
When we asked Pamela if there were any moments that particular stood out, she began to share a cherished memory.
“There was one chap that I was particularly fond of and we really got on well. He had MS which was awful for him and he wasn’t that old. I really felt for him. He couldn’t have a cigarette properly because he couldn’t hold his arms up. So, I used to light it and hold it for him. It was a very personal thing to do. It was even more personal than feeding someone. It meant a lot to him. It was a lovely thing to do. It wasn’t something that you would normally think of. He stuck in my mind a lot.”
It is astonishing to think of how the smallest thing can often make the biggest impact. Helping someone through their darkest moments can be life changing. The experience Pamela had volunteering in the hospice, eventually went on to inspire her to start a career in nursing.
When reflecting on her time spent volunteering, and her drive behind it, she commented, “That’s what life is all about or should be. You know, I didn’t really give it much thought. It was just something I wanted to do. I was happy to do it.”
After volunteering in St Helena Hospice, Pamela decided to complete her nursing training.
She later went on to work in a special needs school where she continued to provide care for children with learning disabilities.
“As soon as I walked in there, I knew that was for me. I loved it.”
It is incredible how the small actions you take can alter big decisions you make later in life. Pamela has continually strived to make a difference to her local community by constantly caring. Going above and beyond to help others. She has volunteered for St Helena Hospice, and still plays the lottery every week to do her bit.
If you are keen to be part of something special and make a real impact too. Head to the St Helena Hospice website to find out more about volunteering opportunities that are available.
Or alternatively, you can play the lottery to support them each week just like Pamela. Click below to play Your Hospice Lottery to support St Helena Hospice.