Our most important assets are our Remembrance Workers – they are the very reason we exist. Have a look at some of their stories and see how they connect with what they do now.
Hello, my name is Shanti. My father was a volunteer in the British Army during WW2, based in Tricolamee in what was then Ceylon and is now Sri Lanka. I myself was a teacher in Sri Lanka for 18 years until my home was destroyed during the civil war and we moved to England, with my husband Noel, to start a new life.
Once in England we settled in well. I found a job as a civil servant, and my husband took work as a bookkeeper, and we both worked as volunteers in our local church. Unfortunately, Noel fell ill and underwent two major operations in St Georges Hospital, Tooting. We were both so grateful for the kindness and support we received in hospital that we both decided to volunteer our services within the hospital – in Noel’s words “we wanted to give something back”.
This was the start of our journey with the League of Remembrance. I work as a general guide and information point within the hospital and also provide support to other volunteers – Noel did the same until he had to give up through ill-health. I love it and if I had to choose one sentence to sum it all up it would be “Doing my best for others”.
Hello there, my name is Anne. I was born in Shanghai whilst my father was serving in the Staffordshire Regiment. When WW2 began we were living in Singapore. I was evacuated to Perth in Australia whilst my father continued to serve his country.
After the war we returned to England and my father trained first as a doctor at St Georges Hospital Tooting, and then delivered medical services for NATO at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). I, myself, trained as a nurse at the same hospital, specialising in midwifery, and enjoyed a long and fantastically rewarding career doing this.
I’m now back at the same hospital as a volunteer Remembrance Worker. It’s fantastic. I work on Reception, where I enjoy helping visitors, patients and families find the information they need. I love working here – “it just keeps me going”.
My name is Gwyneth. My late husband served in the RAF for 22 years and we were based in Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and Northern Ireland. After he died I wanted to give something back and so I started as a volunteer at the Florence Nightingale Hospice in Stoke Mandeville, where I drive patients to and from the Hospice.
It’s great – I’ve never met a patient that I didn’t like. All us volunteers feel valued and I have the additional joy of knowing that I personally do something for people who love coming to the Hospice, and help to make them happy.
I’m Dorothy. My husband David served with the RAF. I myself trained as a nurse in 1962, and then worked in a number of hospitals including Barnet General, Lambeth Hospital, Spurgeons, Dr Barnados Nursing Hospital. One of the highlights of my career was to go out to Nigeria in 1969, as part of a relief team, during the Biafran War – heart-breaking at times but fantastically rewarding too.
I’ve been a volunteer with the League of Remembrance for 2 years now and I work as part of the bereavement service team in the Florence Nightingale Hospice, as well as volunteering for CRUISE. Where do you start to describe what I do? I’m passionate about people being looked after well. Bereavement is such an individual and unique journey that it deserves all of us going that extra mile for those who needs us.
Some of those we’ve helped said:
“I’m very grateful to have somebody who could listen, empathise, and be non-judgemental. Thank you.”
“I could not have left my home at the time, and I couldn’t imagine where I would be without the service I had.”
“It sometimes frightens me to think what I might have done without this support, as I was so very low after the death of my husband. I will always be grateful.”
My name is Margaret. My father served for 12 years in the Royal Navy including World War 1 and beyond. My brother also served in the Armed Forces spending 2 years as part of the Royal Artillery.
My career included spells as a typist with a Greek shipping company, followed by 15 years government service in Canada, before returning to London and working at the Midland Bank. It was during this period that I had to undergo medical treatment at Guys Hospital, something that, sadly, meant I had to retire from work.
In 2011, I heard about the League of Remembrance and met up with them for a chat. I liked what they did so much I immediately became a volunteer and now deliver information point services in Guys Hospital.
It’s great. Everyday I meet new people and feel I’m part of something wonderful.
I’m Cyril and I spent time in the Army in the late 1950’s serving in the Royal Army Pay Corps as part of my National Service. Following that I entered the retail business and then spent the majority of my working life in this area.
After I retired I met up with a friend one day who told me he volunteered for the League of Remembrance. Fascinated by what he told me I asked him to introduce me and now, since 2013, I too have been part of what this charity does.
The benefits are huge. It makes me get up in the morning, and dress smartly, and puts discipline back into my life. I’m a person who likes speaking to others and this job provides the ideal opportunity to do just that.
I believe the key to success in what I do is simple. Smile at the patient to reassure them, treat everybody with respect, and lastly, and most importantly, treat everybody as an individual.