Being a volunteer at the Kingston Maternity Unit was an easy decision for me and I was thrilled when they had a vacancy. Both my children were born at the hospital and we had to spend a week in the hospital with my first born. The team were amazing and looked after me in more than a clinical manner, I was sad to be leaving such good care!
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the community. I assist over the lunch time period and help to ensure that the new mums have their lunches, help them with drinks and also to spend some time chatting with those who aren’t fast asleep.
Being around new life is so precious and I hope that the small things I do for the new parents help to make their time in the hospital a positive experience.
Willy Kuanze – Admin Volunteer
After being made redundant by the Primary Care Support Service in 2016, full of energy and eagerness Willy endeavoured to search for work to fulfil his ambition to care for people. Unfortunately he could not find any.
However, he was lucky enough to enrol to be a part of the Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Volunteering team in January 2019. He found the management to be amazing and welcoming and he felt supported, respected, valued and part of a team once more. His volunteering role was within the Occupational Health team as an administrative volunteer. He found his volunteering experience to be invigorating and fulfilling.
Thanks to support and mentoring from the Volunteering Department and Team, Willy found a permanent position that has enabled him to help people and patients, although indirectly but through the Health Records Department where he now works as a Health Records Clerk.
His passion still lies with ‘caring for people’
Mao Ali – Radiography Volunteer
Peter Portlock – PAT Volunteer
I became a PetsAsTherapy volunteer at KHFT, with my Standard Poodle Max, in the spring of 2019, and up until lockdown the weekly visits we made to the Hospital had become a regular feature of our lives. I am also a member of the Patient Information Readers’ Panel
As a volunteer, I’m fortunate to be able to witness first-hand the commitment, professionalism, determination and good humour of all the Trust’s staff, both medical and non-medical, as they go about their work under the most testing of circumstances.
To be honest, I’m not the important one in this relationship. I just hold the lead and carry the biscuits. It’s Max that brings the magic. But while he’s doing his stuff, I’m fortunate to be able to witness the huge and positive impact that he, and of course the other PAT dogs, have on the hospital experience of patients, relatives, friends and staff. This has convinced me of the enormous therapeutic benefit that such visits bring. For me it is a privilege to be able to work in the Hospital, alongside such great people and, at the same time, support this fine Charity.
Rehema Healey, Admin and Ward Volunteer
Volunteering at Kingston hospital helped me to gain confidence around other people. I chose to volunteer at Kingston hospital because of my two children who were born there. Giving my free time to the community in this way, I can say thank you to the NHS. I enjoy working at Kingston Hospital, visiting the patients and talking to them.
I adore visiting the patients in the wards before they’re discharged, doing some basic shopping for them if required, keeping them company and making weekly phone calls to see how they are settling in. Also, administer referrals to the local support in the community.
The staff at the ward and volunteers have been supportive and friendly.
Being a volunteer helped me to gain experience and develop skills needed for my social worker course.
David Crabtree, Dementia Ward Volunteer
‘Giving something back’ may sound like a cliche but it was the main reason I started volunteering at Kingston Hospital in early 2019. Since then my few hours each week have been both eventful and rewarding. I started out on the Intensive Care Unit, now called ED and after a while moved over to Derwent Ward to help out with the Dementia patients.
My life of work in a variety of industries, most recently photography and film, has given me a worldly view and allowed a strong connection with people. As a result I’ve found it quite easy to break the ice with most of the elderly folk. From a new volunteer’s point of view, getting involved with patients can be quite daunting at first but the nursing team are always on hand.
The nurses and care-workers are particularly caring and skilled enough to bring a sense of fun to their very heavy workload. I’ve found volunteering on the Dementia Ward to be very intense and sometimes quite exhausting but the reward of helping out make it worthwhile. Every patient is at a different stage of dementia and it’s important to assess this and allow them to guide you as a volunteer, to what they want to gain from your visit.
The activity room is a great space, the perfect place to engage in conversation or to play games. I’ve heard countless life stories, both happy and sad, from characters from all walks of life. A few worth mentioning are a member of the Hungarian national football team from the 1950’s, a Welsh woman with nine sisters and one brother, a one-hundred year old lady with whom I played several games of dominos, most of which she somehow won!
Covid put a halt to my visits since March 2020 but I’ve just started the all-new online visits – a new way of volunteering.
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