"Volunteering with Solent NHS Trust helped to fill a void in my life" – David’s Story
1-7 June is national volunteers’ week, and we’ll be sharing some inspiring stories from those who have so kindly given up their time to help us at Solent NHS Trust. By offering their gifts, time, knowledge and experiences, our volunteers enhance the care and quality of life for our patients, whilst giving back to their community. Solent NHS Trust currently has over 140 volunteers who are actively involved around our communities and Trust sites and we value each, and every, person who joins our team.
Today we meet David Stanley, who has been volunteering with the Trust since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He explains how volunteering has been a big part of his life from an early age and how grateful he is to be able to help others at this, particularly difficult time.
He said: “I come from a family of volunteers. I’m from a small village in the Midlands and as a young boy, I used to volunteer to ring the local church bells. Recently I had been working and volunteering for the Jubilee Sailing Trust which offers sailing experiences to people with disabilities.
“However, due to Covid- 19 and the current restrictions, all their ships have been tied up. As I’m semi-retired I had some time on my hands and so I wanted to do my bit to help during this Covid-19 crisis.
“I had previously done some voluntary cooking, with Age UK at Medwell Court a home for older people, so I was happy to help in any way needed. I decided to respond to the call for volunteers from the Solent NHS Trust recruitment campaign to become a volunteer driver.
“To my delight, I was placed almost immediately and so far I have been delivering essential items and parcels to the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton.
“Volunteering makes you feel useful that you’re doing something for the good of the community. Before I started with the Trust I was beginning to feel unfulfilled, but since I’ve settled in, I’ve realised that volunteering has helped me fill that void. Everyone is so friendly and very grateful for what you are doing to help – it’s really nice to feel appreciated and part of the team.
“Oscar, my dog, also comes out with me whilst I drive and he’s very good company. He rests his head on my shoulders and then sometimes gets out of the car and gives a little wag of his tail. I guess you could say that he’s a vital part of the team too!
“I feel and hope that I’m making a real difference. Offering my time to Solent has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I’d encourage anyone to get on board and do the same.”
If like David, you are looking for a way to make a difference to your community and help those in need, why not join our team of volunteers? We’d love to hear from you! Please visit https://recruitment.solent.nhs.uk/your-career/volunteers/ to find out more and get involved.