The compassion our volunteers show to our patients serves to motivate us all and the social interaction volunteers contribute, helps to enhance the patient experience. Volunteers have been integrated into a number of areas within the hospital and their ongoing dedication is truly inspiring.
There will be an information stand in our restaurant throughout Volunteers' Week (1-7 June 2018), so please come along to find out more about our volunteering opportunities and our work with other local volunteer agencies.
If you are interested in recruiting volunteers for your area please contact me and we can discuss developing a volunteer role.
You can read some volunteer stories here to give you a better idea what is involved ...
Maureen Kelly – Volunteer Patient Liaison
I'd like you to meet Maureen Kelly, who volunteers with the rheumatology team and cannot speak highly enough of her role and the team she volunteers with. Maureen has always volunteered throughout her working life. In the past Maureen has worked in the film industry and retrained to become a psychotherapist/counsellor.
Volunteering brings Maureen so much joy and she urges anyone who has the time to spare to volunteer. Maureen truly feels part of the Rheumatology team, who help reinforce her sense of identity. The team make her feel valued and she looks forward to every single volunteer shift. Maureen says her team show their appreciation, even though she feels she doesn't really do, in her own works "anything special". However I don't think the team with agree with Maureen on that one.
Every shift is varied and although she carries out familiar tasks like signposting, taking patients for blood tests or showing them to x-ray, it's the interaction with people that she thrives off. While chit chatting to patients and visitors as they wait, Maureen is able to put them at ease a little, even if the conversation is just a welcome distraction.
The Rheumatology team have commented on how patients have noticed such a difference and have made a point of saying how much they appreciate having someone there to reassure them and guide them where they need to go.
Pauline Hooper – Volunteer Guide
I'd like you to meet Pauline, who is one of our Hospital guides and has been volunteering with the Trust for 12 years! Before joining the guides Pauline volunteers on a committee group for a doctor's surgery for 10 years. Pauline has a background in farming as well as running a business.
When asked what motivated Pauline to volunteer she explained how she felt she wanted to give something back to the hospital. Pauline enjoys the interaction with people and finds it a good way to keep active.
When asked what a typical volunteer shift can be like Pauline describes coming in for 9am and often starts directing people before she makes it to the south wing entrance. She then goes around and collect up the wheelchairs and re-position them in the entrance ready for use. From the moment she starts her day Pauline is consistently busy directing patients, visitors and sometime staff.
Although Pauline volunteers independently with the support of another guide she still feels part of a team. The guides meet up at least once a year to catch up and swap stories. The guides are supported by lead guide Rose Stone, who Pauline says keeps the strong sense of community alive within the guides.
Yvonne Smith – Volunteer Ward Assistant
I would like to introduce you to Yvonne Smith, who is a Volunteer Ward Assistant on Day Lewis Ward. When asked what motivated Yvonne to want to volunteer she explained how she likes meeting people from all walks of life and this gives her the opportunity to do just that. Yvonne feels it gives her a reason to keep motivated and likes having the regular commitment in her diary.
I asked Yvonne to explain what a typical volunteer shift might look like on the ward. Yvonne explained that when she arrives on the ward she usually goes straight to the kitchen to give the place a general tidy up and get ready for the tea round. Once she has assisted with giving out the hot drinks, she goes back around the ward with jugs of water for the patients and it is at this point that she will stop and chat to them if they feel up to it. Yvonne hopes that her contributes brings some comfort to the patients and her presence can assist the hard working staff. Yvonne has been made to feel part of the team on Day Lewis and finds them all lovely people. Yvonne feels she gets a lot out of volunteering and it helps keep her connected to her community. She finds that the positive reaction she received from patients makes it all worthwhile.
Paul Bess – Volunteer Guide
I would like to introduce Paul Bess, who joined the Guides in February 2018. Although Paul started volunteering fairly recently he has integrated well within the team. Paul has been made to feel very welcome and has been impressed by how well run the Volunteer Guides are.
When asked what motivated him to volunteer, Paul explained how he wanted to give some time back to the people within his local community. Before joining as a volunteer Paul had previously worked as a Telephone Engineer, which involved liaising with a steady flow of people and he has missed this since retiring. Paul finds it very satisfying to know he is able to help patients, visitors and staff alike.