Liz Brear has volunteered with Peace Arch Hospice Society for 20 years. (Contributed photo)

Liz Brear has volunteered with Peace Arch Hospice Society for 20 years. (Contributed photo)

Our People, Our Peninsula: Liz Brear has received as much from volunteering as she’s given

Peace Arch Hospice Society ‘honoured’ to have 20-year volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of a community. In the May 19 edition of the Peace Arch News, we published our second annual Our People, Our Peninsula section, in which we profiled 11 individuals whose volunteer efforts help shape White Rock-South Surrey into the strong and vibrant community we call home. Below is the profile of one such volunteer.

Liz (Elizabeth) Brear is celebrating her 20th year this year volunteering with Peace Arch Hospice Society. “Liz shares her time and talents with us in many ways. She is active in the walking group, helps out with all of our events, has been a vigil organizer for years, and so much more. We feel honoured to have Liz volunteering with our society and are so grateful for all she does.”

Q: How long have you been a volunteer with Peace Arch Hospice Society and why did you choose them specifically?

I have been a volunteer with Peace Arch Hospice Society for 20 years. My husband and I moved to White Rock in 2002. We knew nobody here. I had always volunteered for a few hours a week wherever we had lived, so a couple of months after coming to live in White Rock I gave Peace Arch Hospice Society a call. My background was nursing and even when I was growing up in England I had been interested in hospice care. Also the Peace Arch Hospice Society office was only a block away from where we lived.

Q: How has volunteering for PAHF benefited you as a person?

When I started volunteering with the Hospice Society I thought it was all about giving, I never realized how much I would receive. I have benefited in so many ways. I have grown from being a rather shy, quiet housewife into the cheerful, happy and the more confident person that I am today. The initial basic training is excellent. Even if someone decides that hospice volunteering is not for them, they will have discovered a great deal about themselves, about listening, about empathy, about sharing in the sadness, worries and joys of others.

Q: Why is it important to you to volunteer your time?

I feel that it is important for me to volunteer my time for as long as I am able. I’m no longer able to do everything that I would like but I can still walk, talk and listen. My memory is not as good as it once was and my hearing is not the best, but I can still listen, laugh and smile. I need to keep using what I have left before these abilities fade forever.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about becoming a volunteer for the first time?

I would encourage anyone who has a little time on their hands to think about volunteering for perhaps a few hours each week or each month. Think about the skills you have, or your interests, or perhaps there is something new you would like to try? Ask your friends for advice. Remember, you are not applying for a well-paid job, you are offering your services for free. Even though you will want to offer the best service that you can, choose when you would like to volunteer, how often and for how many hours. Volunteering is fun and very rewarding.

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