“I wanted to build up my confidence and self-esteem. Last year I was anxious about leaving the house; this year I’ve found a job and things are really changing for me.”
Donna Page became a volunteer for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust in November 2017 which she admits was a huge step for her to take.
“I became a volunteer after being encouraged by the Bridges Project which I was involved in through Walsall Adult and Community College,” the 38-year-old explained.
The Bridges Project offers extra support to unemployed adults to help them into work. Donna, who has cerebral palsy, proved to be a perfect candidate for the project.
“I was at Walsall Adult and Community College to improve my ICT skills and my aim was to find a part time job,” said Donna. “After school I concentrated on my health – I had eight operations to try and improve my balance and co-ordination – and I feel I missed out on developing my work skills.
“When I became a volunteer for Walsall Healthcare I was a bit nervous but everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. I’m based in the Purple Hub and have been providing administration support to the Patient Experience and Volunteering Team and recently I have also been supporting the Fundraising Manager and have been out in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital on a Well Wishers stall.
Without the support and guidance of the Patient Experience and Volunteering Team I wouldn’t be where I am now i.e. work ready. I wouldn’t have thought a year ago that I would have the confidence to do anything like this. Volunteering for the trust has definitely been worthwhile as I’m due to start a part time job for the Pre-School Alliance next year. My role will involve receptionist and administrative duties and although I am nervous about it I’m also looking forward to it.
“The best bits for me have been working as part of a team and feeling valued, I feel like I have a purpose. It’s been such a valuable experience.
“Last year before I started volunteering I was anxious about leaving the house. My confidence has improved and I’ve really enjoyed working with the teams and the fundraising volunteering in particular. I’d urge others to try volunteering and see how it can change their lives too.”
Louise Mabley, Walsall Healthcare’s Lead for Patient Experience & Volunteering, said: “We’re thrilled that Donna has achieved her goal of finding work and pleased to have played a part in helping her to develop her skills further.
“We’d like to thank her for the support she has given to the Patient Experience, Volunteering and Fundraising teams and wish her all the best for the future.
“As Donna says, volunteering is extremely worthwhile and if anyone feels inspired by her story and would like to find out more about the many roles we have available both in the hospital and our community services please get in touch.”
Contact the Voluntary Service on 01922 656689.