Being a Volunteer – Jim Brereton one of the last serving members of the National Service

Jim Brereton and wife Ann

Jim Brereton has been volunteering at Hatherleigh Nursing Home for just over 3 years now.  He started volunteering when his wonderful wife Ann came to live at the Home on the 2nd October 2012.  He would visit most days and would engage with all the family members (visiting relatives and their dogs also!)

In 2015, Ann very sadly passed away and is still to this day missed dearly.  Jim however has kept her memory alive by whole heartedly continuing with his volunteering at the Home and has been visiting 2-3 times a week ever since to carry on with bingo, quizzes, bowls to name but a few.

The rapport that Jim has built with family members over the years is invaluable, and it isn’t just the family members that he makes smile, the team members welcome his warmth and contagious personality.  When asked if Jim enjoys volunteering, he enthusiastically replied “Ann was cared for so well here at Hatherleigh and I just love visiting and entertaining others – the family members enjoy it and so do I ... I’ll do it as long as they’ll have me!’’

On Thursday 8th November, Jim lead a special Remembrance Day celebration as his Grandfather survived World War I, and Jim himself was one of the last serving members of the National Service. After giving a brief synopsis of why the war started, helped with interjections from family members, he showed the group the medals his Grandfather won. They then acknowledged the sacrifice soldiers made and were all animated in sharing their personal memories of the war and life during that period.  Jim rounded off his memoirs by a reading of the renowned poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John Mcrae, which appeared to resonate with the family members, who all bowed their heads in respect.

The afternoon then ended on a lighter note with tea and biscuits - a happy tradition at Hatherleigh Nursing Home loved by all.

Jims' Grandfather's Medals
Jims' Grandfather's Medals
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