Volunteering at St Richards Hospital – Helen and James

Helen Warner : Helen Warner - Volunteer at St Richards Hospital

“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.”

James Ford:

“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sense of reward is huge when I manage to get some engagement and level of communication with someone who may have been withdrawn before hand.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.”

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