Peter Rigby, Volunteer
‘I am a member of a 27 strong team of host and hostesses, managed by the League of Friends, who actively engage with visitors to the hospital who are perhaps unsure of where to go. My main motivation for volunteering at Walsall Healthcare Trust is to enable me to give back something to the hospital that cared for my wife before she passed away from breast cancer. I personally talk to approximately 50 to 60 people every three hour session that I attend in my visitor engagement role based in the reception atrium area of Manor Hospital. People may be anxious and feeling scared at the thought of attending hospital and I get great satisfaction from helping and putting them at ease as a friendly first contact at the hospital.
This particular volunteer position has built upon the diplomacy skills I’ve developed in my former managerial role in paid employment. It suits my skills very well as I really enjoy meeting and helping people.’
Ann Walton, Volunteer
“I started volunteering for the NHS just over twenty years ago with the chaplaincy. I then moved to assist with the entertainment committee for the Stroke Unit at Goscote. This brought bingo and singing amongst other events to the patients. I have also assisted on wards with patient’s mealtimes.
When talking with patients the time I spend I get ten times the satisfaction back. Volunteering helps me take my mind off my own problems helping people with theirs. I normally spend between two and five hours on a volunteer placement helping staff with their patients. The staff, I must say, are very good indeed.”
Georgie Westley Membership & Engagement Manager said “Ann is a great volunteer who is really supportive of the Trust. She will assist at the drop of a hat and her welcoming and friendly manner is greatly received by both staff and patients. Over the many years Ann has volunteered I have seen her develop in herself gaining confidence with every different role she has undertaken”
Ken Benton, Volunteer
“I started volunteering for the Trust four years ago this October driving the buggy patient mobility scooter and also delivering newspapers to patients on the wards.
I currently volunteer on Monday for 3 and half hours driving the patient buggy and then do a visiting time shift on Thursday and Friday in the ITU ward. In this role I liaise with visitors and staff and co-ordinate visits on the ward ensuring staff can concentrate on their important roles and keep disruption to a minimum. I also chat to both patients and visitors to put them at ease in what could be an anxious time for them. The ward has top class nursing staff and are lovely with their patients.”
Ly Fletcher ITU Manager said “Our meet and greet volunteers are a valuable asset in being a first contact and friendly face giving support and being a calming influence to visiting relations. They assist the ward in allowing the nursing staff in this 1 to 1 nursing environment to focus on patient care.”
Collette Mumford, Volunteer Champion
"I joined the volunteer Self Care Management Programme team about five years ago following my attendance on a course which is a free six week course for anyone living with any long term health condition. It allowed me to come to terms with my illness and I saw how I could help others.
I am a member of a 15 strong team which provides patients with the help to take more care of their health by learning new skills to manage their condition better on a daily basis. I facilitate about eight courses per year. They consist of half day sessions over a six week period. During the course attendees confidence increases, they are signposted to various support mechanisms and also learn to break the symptom cycle to enable a person to cope on a day to day basis. It also builds a peer support group.
The clinical team of staff are very supportive and approachable who will do anything for our volunteers.
It is very rewarding that you can make a real difference to patients which allows them to be able to cope with their long tern health condition and continue to do so."