Volunteers in charity farewell

Breath for Life volunteers Marjorie Hunter and Dorothy Loxam.
Breath for Life volunteers Marjorie Hunter and Dorothy Loxam.

Two former nurses who are celebrating more than 100 years of caring and volunteering have bid farewell to A Breath for Life.

The oxygen treatment centre in Middleton provides comfort and support to sick and brain injured patients.

Marjorie Hunter and Dorothy Loxam have volunteered for the past 16 years in operating the oxygen chamber every Friday at the treatment centre, as they both wanted to involve themselves volunteering in their retirement after leaving their jobs at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Their exceptional abilities are a tribute to their professional nurse training which was far different to what students face today. Theirs was a more practical-based training which prepared them for nursing in varied situations.

Marjorie started her training in 1951, and fully qualified as a State Registered Nurse in 1954. Her career at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary saw her work in dermatology, 10 years on the children’s ward and many years as theatre sister.

On retirement from the NHS, Marjorie was not content to sit at home but involved herself in local projects and volunteering at A Breath for Life in 1998, where she has been an invaluable asset.

Dorothy followed Marjorie into training in 1957 and spent 37 years in the RLI nursing adults and sick children.

Like Marjorie she was not content to sit at home after leaving the NHS and volunteered her skills and experience to Cancer Care, joining Marjorie in 1998 to operate the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at A Breath for Life.

Marjorie said: “It is not rocket science, but too many people are put off volunteering as they think it too technical.”

A Breath for Life has greatly valued their contribution to the charity and the “Marjorie–Dorothy” team will be sadly missed.

Marjorie is already planning to join the Home Care scheme to support young families at home who have no older person to help them.