Serving drinks with a smile! – Helen Brocki

Meet Helen Brocki – a retired Deputy Principal at Lancashire College, who is now one of a dedicated team of volunteers giving their time to help St Catherine’s Hospice and The Mill.

Not only does Helen volunteer once a week as a café assistant at The Mill, she also helps out on another day in the kitchens of St Catherine’s. Now that she’s retired, volunteering keeps her busy throughout the week, and offers the chance to catch-up with friends, old and new.

She said: “I love volunteering here – it’s a lot more relaxed than working, but it also gives me a structure to my week.”

“When I retired, I needed something to keep me busy, I knew about the hospice and the great work they do, so I just looked on the internet to see what was available.  There was quite a selection of different roles I could choose from.

“I like coming here because I’m meeting customers and working with many different people.

“I’ve caught up with old friends who I found also volunteer here and made many new friends too.”

Each volunteer at St Catherine’s Hospice and The Mill brings their own set of skills and expertise to a role. Helen’s job can vary from helping the chefs out in the hospice kitchen to serving customers in The Mill.

Helen also has the time to chat to those who come to visit The Mill, which includes those affected by serious illness and bereavement as part of The Mill’s commitment to offering support to people in a more relaxed, informal environment away from the main hospice.

“Although some of the people who come here are facing tough situations, they are always up-beat and that’s really inspiring,” continued Helen.

“As a volunteer, because you’re extra to the paid work force, it means you’ve got more time to spend with people and that helps customers feel welcome and relaxed in the café.

“The Mill is a not only a wonderful place to visit, but also to work in as well.  I think there was a shortage of these nice café restaurants in the area so it’s great that we have something like this now in Preston.

“We cater for a varied mix of customers and I think they also like to come here because not only is the food exciting, but they know the profits are going straight back into a worthwhile cause in St Catherine’s.”

How would you like to make a difference for St Catherine’s by becoming a volunteer? check our current volunteer openings here: TheMillVolunteers

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