Make volunteering your resolution this year
Column by Andrew Tysoe, ULHT voluntary services manager
As each new year arrives, we make resolutions with the hope of enhancing our lives in some way. Some stick while others don’t, but this year we’re asking local people to consider volunteering as the one thing they commit to this year.
At Grantham Hospital, volunteering is all about improving the experience of patients. It’s been a part of the NHS since it was first formed 70 years ago and over the next three years there’ll be a national effort to double the number of volunteers as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Our hospital volunteers help in so many ways. From being corridor guides to helping on wards, their time is invaluable. Each month, our 39 dedicated volunteers clock up an incredible 750+ hours.
It’s the little things that make big differences and by helping patients find a clinic, meeting and greeting worried relatives and befriending lonely or anxious inpatients, volunteers can make a huge difference.
Whilst all volunteering roles are for non-clinical tasks, it’s a great way to keep appointments running on time and allow clinical staff to spend more time with their patients. It can also have so many great benefits for the volunteers themselves, as it’s a great way to make new friends, boost your confidence and give you an added purpose.
Some turn to volunteering following retirement or a bereavement. For others, volunteering can be a stepping stone back into work, or a chance to experience working in the NHS if they’re thinking of making a career change. Whatever the reason, we’d be extremely grateful to have you as part of our team.
There’ll be some new volunteering opportunities soon too, including a position to meet and greet patients and families in A&E, as well as offering
company and support.
Ward 6 sister Tracey Pemberton is also looking for volunteers for set times throughout the week to improve patients’ lunchtime experience. Patients who are well enough will then be able to enjoy sitting together at a dining table to eat their meal, rather than in or by their bed – a great idea to improve their stay with us.
If you’re a supporter of our hospital, or have some free time you’d like to do something meaningful with, this is one way you can make a practical difference. You don’t need any experience to volunteer with us, but there is some training you’ll need to do before you can start. We also expect our volunteers to commit to half a day per week for at least six months.
To find out more about volunteering at the hospital, please call 01522 597838 or visit www.ulh.nhs.uk/jobs/working-for-us/volunteering