Helen Warner :
“My name is Helen Warner and I am a volunteer at St Richards hospital in Chichester, I have been volunteering for around 8 months. I wanted to become a volunteer to gain some experience in the hospital environment and to help out the staff members as well as making the patients stay a comfortable one. I am currently studying an access course at college and will be starting my nursing degree in September.
When I first started volunteering I was on the post natal ward. I helped to keep the patients hydrated and assisted with meals. I also kept the cabinets on the wards stocked and clean and changed the beds. I enjoyed helping and was able to talk to the patients which they seemed to appreciate, it was nice to get to know them too.
I currently volunteer in accident and emergency, I get to see and speak to a variety of patients. I am enjoying my time volunteering and look forward to starting my nursing degree.”
“I volunteer at my local hospital (St Richards) in Chichester on one of the Dementia wards. I’m there for 3 hours every Saturday morning and help out with handing out meals, drinks, some cleaning, but most importantly simply talking to patients.
It took me a little while to find this opportunity as I had been looking for something for a while and didn’t even know the NHS needed volunteers. However I found the do it website, went for an interview, and found that my local NHS trust employs hundreds of volunteers.
I’ve been volunteering for about 2 months now and absolutely love it, I look forward to every Saturday morning as it gives me a sense of purpose and that in my own little way I’m making a difference. Working with Dementia patients can be challenging but the sense of reward is huge when I manage to get some engagement and level of communication with someone who may have been withdrawn before hand. And the gratitude from patients and staff fills me with pride.
I genuinely love volunteering and feel it gives me a broader perspective on life which is very important.”