Volunteers are now helping out in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) seven days a week – supporting both patients and staff.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Voluntary Services made an appeal for more ED volunteers earlier this year to coincide with the opening of the multi-million pound Urgent and Emergency Care centre that also houses the Acute Medical Unit (AMU), Paediatric ED and Paediatric Assessment Unit.
And a total of 24 volunteers have signed up and are regularly hard at work in the new centre.
Julie Venables, Volunteer Administrator, oversees the team and supports those who are giving their free time to help others.
She said: “We are extremely proud of our wonderful group of ED volunteers who are working in the busiest department in the whole hospital.
“Staff never know who is going to come through the door next and what condition or illness they may have and it is a very hectic area to work. But our volunteers have eased themselves into the team there and we couldn’t do without them. We now have 24 who have given a combined number of just under 760 hours’ help to the Trust, for which we are so grateful.
“They reassure patients, put people at ease in worrying circumstances, always have a smile on their faces and are eager to help out wherever needed. We really value and appreciate their contribution.”
Julie added that efforts are now being made to recruit volunteers for AMU.
Shirley Brownhill and Christine Ford both volunteer in ED on Saturdays – and have become firm friends as a result of their shared interest.
Christine said: “The patients are so grateful when we offer them a drink, particularly if they’re feeling anxious, or have been waiting a while.
“I enjoy the banter we can have with people and the staff have made us feel so welcome there.”
Shirley said: “ It’s such a busy place and it’s good to hear we’ve got volunteers throughout the weekends too.
“I don’t mind working at the weekend at all – I’ve got all week to get my own jobs done. I prefer to be helping someone if I can.”
For an informal chat about volunteering opportunities please contact the Voluntary Services Team on 01922 656689. To submit an application please use this link https://www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/work-with-us/volunteering/