Celebrating National Volunteers Week
This week, 1-7 June, is Volunteers’ Week and to celebrate we’ll be sharing some inspiring stories from those who have so kindly given up their time to help us here at Solent. By offering gifts, time, knowledge and experiences, our volunteers enhance the care and quality of life for our patients. Solent NHS Trust currently has over 140 volunteers who are actively involved around our communities and Trust sites. We value each, and every, person who gets involved in making a difference.
Today we hear from Alison Earle and Eleanor van der Hoist, who have changed their volunteer roles at Solent to help us during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read their compelling stories below.
Alison Earle has volunteered with the League of Friends for 25 years and is now supporting Solent NHS Trust with its volunteer recruitment programme
“I have enjoyed working in the voluntary sector as Health and Social Care is extremely close to my heart. Not only is volunteer work fun, but it has allowed me to expand my social circle and continue to learn new skills every day.
“Now working to help Solent encourage more people to join as volunteers, I would urge any age group to get involved! There is a wide range of activities that are suitable for everyone to have fun and give back to the community. Another great aspect of volunteering is it can provide great work experience, enabling you to communicate with a wide variety of professionals, from porters to nurses and consultants.
“I recently spoke to a former student who volunteered with the League of Friends during her time at university, she is now a pharmacist. Taking about her personal experience she said, “The things I’ve learnt whilst volunteering I will take with me for the rest of my life. I have no doubt that this work has helped me tremendously in my role now. It is so important to spend time helping the community and really understanding the patient on a personal level.”
Eleanor van der Hoist works at the Memory Cafés in Southampton which helps carers and those cared for who suffer from Dementia, she is now delivering clothes for the homeless across Solent
“I felt very pleased to be able to help and offer my time and support during the pandemic. It’s very rewarding being part of something that people value so much, and it really does make such a huge difference to people’s lives - I feel appreciated. I’m currently working to deliver clothes that were kindly donated to the Trust, to the homeless communities across Solent.
“At my previous volunteering role, I’d enjoyed leading sessions of movements to music at the café and I was pleased to be able to share this with the carers and people living with dementia. It was good for the carers to be able to share their experiences with each other whilst the cared for were busy enjoying the movement in music sessions. I also really enjoy being part of a team. Although it may seem like a small gesture, making people feel comfortable and welcome is a great way to contribute to the community.”
Are you looking to make a difference to your community but don’t know how? Why not visit our recruitment site https://recruitment.solent.nhs.uk/your-career/volunteers/ and find out how you can get involved!