Terry, volunteer for 25 years

 

Terry thoroughly enjoys her time volunteering at Ashford Hospital, indeed, she has been helping us for 25 years now. When asked why she volunteers, Terry says, ‘I enjoy it, it’s fabulous, I’m not the stay at home type I want to get out there and do something, the rocking chair and daytime television will have to wait.

Terry helps out in the League of Friends Coffee shop serving refreshments to patients and visitors, does the ward trolley, runs the bookshop and helps with fundraising activities.

 

Sue, Mealtime Support volunteer

 

After retiring from full-time employment, Sue was keen to keep busy and give something back to her community. Sue says, ‘I really enjoy my work as a volunteer – it keeps me busy and I get a great deal of joy meeting and helping the patients and working with other volunteers and staff at St Peters.

Sue certainly does keep busy – she is a keen gardener, enjoys baking and is a keen walker who also attends the gym to keep fit. The old adage ‘if you want anything done ask a busy person’ is certainly true in the case of Sue – everyone marvels at her enthusiasm, attention to detail and appetite for hard work.

 

Beryl, A&E Reception

 

Beryl had just turned 17 when she began her nurse training. Little did she think that it would lead to a lifetime of devotion to duty and that at 81 she would still be involved in serving the health of her local community! But that’s just what Beryl is doing – as a volunteer at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Beryl had qualified as both a general nurse and an orthopaedic nurse in Birmingham by 1949 and her career and marriage brought her to St. Peter’s Hospital’s A & E department as a staff nurse in 1958. When she retired from nursing Beryl became a volunteer “pair of hands” on a medical ward while also working as an A & E receptionist. Beryl then became a volunteer filing clerk in A & E reception and twice a week she collates and files 250-300 documents at a time as well as answering the phone and “pulling” notes for clinics.

Said Beryl: “I love it here, and I am very fortunate that I am able to do it at my age. It is very much a two-way thing and I do enjoy working in St. Peter’s A & E reception. The whole team here are super, from the top to the bottom. Volunteering gives you the satisfaction of doing something useful, particularly because I have always been connected with patients and nursing.”

 

Peter, Communications Team

 

I pin-up posters in the NHS!” That may sound a little flippant, but a sense of humour in appropriate circumstances is always a useful attribute for a hospital volunteer like Peter.

Peter has been volunteering for the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for more than a year. He has the responsibility for keeping the 166 notice boards at both hospitals up-to-date with patient information and leaflets; visitor and staff information; Trust news; local community information and jobs and vacancies. He comes into the communications department at St. Peter’s at least twice a week and uses the Hospital Hopper bus service to travel between the two buildings.

Said Peter: "I only started volunteering at the age of 62, as I was not in paid employment and wanted something to give my life a little more direction. I was looking for an activity that would give me much needed exercise as I had a history of cardiac problems and this was recommended by my GP. I first approached the volunteer’s manager at St. Peter's and after looking at several options I opted for the Communications Department, looking after the various notice boards at both St. Peter's and Ashford. I walk every corridor and climb every staircase at both hospitals about twice a week, in addition I like to cycle the two and a half miles each way from my home.

“In the Comms Dept. I have meet a fantastic team of people who have made me feel really wanted and a valued member of the team, I like to think of them as friends and we all get on really well together. Being a Volunteer has given my life an added purpose and I hope to be able to carry on doing it for many years to come. I would definitely say that men from all working walks of life would find something of interest and value to do as a volunteer in a hospital setting.”