Meet Tracy Lester, a volunteer making a difference
Each year, we celebrate national Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1-7 June. Look out for some amazing stories, appreciation posts, and more this week that we will be sharing throughout the week to say THANK YOU!
As part of the celebration, Chief Nurse for Solent, Jackie Munro, expressed her deep appreciation for volunteers. “You [volunteers] are truly amazing. You have continued during the pandemic to show commitment and dedication at a time when it has been challenging for all of us. Thank you for your compassion, your awareness, your patience, respect, kindness and for sharing your skills and knowledge to help enhance the lives of others. But most importantly, thank you for your time.
"In a world where pressures of work, family and other commitments seem to grow relentlessly, one of the most precious gifts anyone can give is ‘their time’.
"Your contribution is greatly valued, you make such a difference to not only our staff but to our patients.”
Meet Tracy Lester, this is her story and how she got involved in volunteering
Tracy started off in the Trust as a volunteer, and is now a bank member of the team. Tracey reflects on her journey. “Back at the start of 2020, just before the pandemic, I got made redundant.
“At the age of 55 I took some time out to think about what I wanted to do but that year was not a good year to be looking for a new job.
“The months passed and due to personal reasons as well as the pandemic my job hunting was put on hold. Then in December, I decided I wanted to do some volunteering work and give back to the NHS as they had saved the life of a very special person to me. The NHS was also feeling the full brunt of COVID-19 and I desperately wanted to help.
“So, I completed a form, which didn’t take long, and after just a few days I was taken on as a volunteer. I can honestly say that was such a boost for me. Knowing that someone read my details and said yes, we want this person as a volunteer – made me feel needed.
“I started working as a volunteer with the Patient Experience Team, although at the time I was busy helping to recruit volunteers for the vaccine programme, it was so good to be helping where needed and feeling part of a team again.
“So where am I now? Well I was offered a bank position after just a month and I’m still here now and enjoying every minute. The team I work with are so supportive and caring.
“I’m so pleased I took that first step to volunteer; it has given me an opportunity to do a job I love.”
If, like Tracy, you’re 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.
Happy Volunteers Week to you all. You truly do make a difference.