We have 550 volunteers across the Trust providing practical and emotional support to patients and visitors. They are not directly involved in clinical care but their role is to complement the work of paid staff.
They come from all walks of life and represent the diversity of the communities that we serve. All are dedicated to making the hospitals that make up the Trust a little friendlier and more comfortable for everyone.
Sue – volunteer befriender, King’s College Hospital Emergency Department
Sue volunteers in the Emergency Department at King’s College Hospital and she’s volunteered for 18 months now. She spends three hours, one day a week in the department and one day a week helping out in the volunteers’ office.
Her volunteering role involves supporting patients who come into the Emergency Department, particularly if they are by themselves. She said, “I can be a friend to people at a time that can be quite scary.”
Sue makes drinks for patients, helps getting them a meal if they want it and chats to them, helping out where she can.
Sue has always done some kind of voluntary work, and as she was a previously a nurse she liked the idea of volunteering within a hospital.
Sean – volunteer guide, King’s College Hospital
Sean is a volunteer at King’s College Hospital, helping people with directions and guiding them around the hospital. He’s volunteered at King’s for seven months and decided to volunteer after he retired as he had spare time that he wanted to do something worthwhile with.
He volunteers for four hours, three days a week, guiding patients and visitors around the hospital and helping with directions.
Sean said: “I’m a people person so I really enjoy helping people and asking them if they need any assistance getting to where they need to be in the hospital.”
Pam and Marion – Help desk volunteers, Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH)
Pam and Marion have both volunteered for 17 years and work the same shift together, every Wednesday for three hours.
They help people when they arrive at the hospital, directing them and taking them where they need to go if they need to. They also order taxis for people and help people who arrive at the hospital by themselves.
Pam said: “I enjoy the variety; every day is different! It’s lovely to meet new people and help them where we can.”
Lorna and Maureen – Volunteer Befriender, Chartwell Unit at the PRUH
Lorna and Maureen are both volunteers on the Chartwell Unit, a cancer and specialist blood services centre. They’ve both volunteered there for almost three years now and before that they volunteered in the shop, so have been at the hospital for about 12 years in total.
Lorna said: “I used to care for my mother and when she passed away I had more spare time. I really enjoy volunteering and all the staff and patients on the ward are really friendly.”
Maureen added: “I’d definitely encourage others to volunteer at a hospital, it’s very rewarding.”
Their volunteering roles include making refreshments, chatting to patients and keeping them company, as well as any admin tasks.
Melanie – Volunteer, Home Hamper Service at the PRUH
Melanie has been volunteering for 10 years. She’s currently helping with the Home Hamper scheme but before that she volunteered on the wards.
The Home Hamper scheme is offered to inpatients who may not have food in the cupboards at home. It’s a food parcel of non-perishable items to take with them, so they have food to eat when they’re discharged.
Melanie coordinates the Home Hampers, creating food parcels with the donations made and making shopping lists of anything else that is needed. She also makes the wards aware of the scheme so that they can identify any patients who may benefit from a parcel.
Melanie said: “I always wanted to volunteer and as my son got older I had more free time to be able to do it. The PRUH looked after my mum when she was ill, so I knew that’s where I wanted to do it. I’d encourage other people to volunteer if they can, you really make a difference to people’s lives and it’s a great feeling knowing someone has gone home with food to eat.”
Marcia – volunteer, pharmacy at the PRUH
Marcia has been volunteering for almost two years and has been in the pharmacy for a few months now. Before that she volunteered in the emergency department and on the wards.
She was a patient at the PRUH when she found out about the volunteering scheme and soon applied to become one.
She said: “I enjoy the interaction with patients and being able to make a difference to their day.”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer at King’s, you can find out more information on the web page.