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How volunteering makes her happy

"How can I give something back?" Jana Müller was preoccupied with this question after grieving for her father. In the last phase of his life, he was cared for at home by the Specialised Outpatient Palliative Care team at Villa Auguste in Leipzig. Villa Auguste is a hospice that is supported by Bethel. "I was fascinated by the competence, calm, care and love with which the staff looked after my dad, who had a brain tumour," says Jana Müller. "That was also very valuable for my mum in this extremely stressful situation."

After the death of her father, Jana Müller applied to become a volunteer at Villa Auguste. "Now is the time," says the 46-year-old, "because my children are now grown up and independent." Together with the people in charge of the hospice, she came up with the idea of getting involved with her great passion: sewing. "I learnt it from my grandma, who I loved very much. Sewing brought us together and she left me her sewing machine," says Jana Müller.

The Leipzig native is now one of 40 volunteers at Villa Auguste. Jana Müller's services are primarily aimed at guests of the day hospice, which opened in February 2024. This closes a gap between inpatient and outpatient care and is the first in Saxony. During the day, terminally ill people spend time at the hospice, receiving palliative medical and psychosocial care. They also have the opportunity to take part in activities such as sewing. They return home in the evening. This allows them to stay at home for longer and perhaps even die there. At the same time, the day hospice relieves the burden on family carers.

When there are guests in the day hospice who are interested in sewing and are able to do so, Jana Müller comes to Villa Auguste. To do this, she takes leave from a health insurance company based in Leipzig, for which she works full-time as a social insurance clerk. Or she reduces her overtime. It's her way of giving something back.

"I go home with great inner peace and satisfaction."
Jana Müller

On the large table in the hospice's garden parlour that day, she has laid out cushion covers in various sizes, shapes and patterns, with a bag of cherry stones and a bag of wadding next to them. And Grandma's sewing machine. "You can make neck pillows or heat cushions, for example," she encourages the hospice guests taking part. Jana Müller gives tips and assistance if needed. She also sews them herself, so that at the end of the programme everyone can take home their own home-made cushion. "I'm giving this to my wife," announces one day hospice guest, beaming as he holds up a heart-shaped cushion.

Moments like these make Jana Müller happy. She realises that her plan to give something back is working. At the same time, she realises how much her volunteer work does her good. "After sewing at Villa Auguste, I go home with a great sense of inner peace and satisfaction," she says, "because I know exactly what I'm doing is right."

Text: Philipp Kreutzer | Photos: Christian Weische

This story simply told

Jana Müller has an honorary position. This means that she carries out an activity without being paid for it. At the Bethel Hospice Villa Auguste in Leipzig, she sews with terminally ill people. Cushions, for example. Many of the participants enjoy sewing. And Jana Müller also enjoys her voluntary work.

Would you like to find out more?


Hospice Villa Auguste Leipzig
Kommandant-Prendel-Allee 106
04299 Leipzig

0341 / 86 31 830

To the website of the facility

Offers & services

People who are seriously ill and live at home receive special temporary care here. They can recharge their batteries and enjoy a varied day in the company of others. We offer eight day guests individualised care and daily routines in a cosy atmosphere. Shared meals are just as much a part of this as soothing periods of rest. The programme is complemented by physiotherapy and music therapy, a bathing oasis for physical well-being and an idyllic garden.

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