People volunteer at Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for a variety of reasons, but for Jean Margetts, a personal story involving her family drove her to sign up.
Jean, 73, was inspired by the experience of not being able to see her brother for six weeks following his birth 65 years ago, as he was kept in hospital in isolation to recover from polio.
She, pictured above, with husband of 49 years Nigel, 78, have been chaplaincy volunteers at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital (GWH) for a decade.
The Trust is staging a volunteer recruitment day at GWH on Saturday 6 June, in the Academy on the lower ground floor, at the end of National Volunteers’ Week, where existing volunteers will be on hand to discuss their work during the day, which runs from 10am to 2pm.
Presentations will be given in Lecture Room 1 at 10.15am, 11.45am and 1.15pm about the variety of roles volunteers do.
Jean, who works on the children’s ward, said: “I wasn’t able to see my brother David when he was recovering in hospital and that experience helped shape my decision to volunteer at GWH.
“Working on the children’s ward I can give my undivided attention to a child, whether it is telling them a story or reading books, and you can really see the benefits to them of the work that I do.”
The couple, who live in Lydiard Millicent, west of Swindon, volunteer once a week and are encouraging others to give their time to help patients.
Nigle, who works on Dove and Ampney wards, said: “I think patients see volunteers in a special way, as we are not medical staff and we are not family, so I think we’re often seen as normal people, who can give a different type of support.
“There’s always lots to do and there is plenty of scope in the jobs that are available.”
Around 600 local people volunteer in a variety of roles across Trust sites all over Wiltshire. The Trust was awarded a £100,000 grant last year by Nesta as part of the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, to help increase the number of volunteers to 900.
Adam Kirton, Head of Recruitment for the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Volunteers provide excellent support and friendship to patients – their work is hugely appreciated by everybody within the Trust because of the positive difference that they make.
“We were fortunate enough to secure a grant last year to increase the number of volunteering opportunities and the number of volunteers within the Trust and our recruitment day at GWH is part of that. I hope people will come along to discover more about the personal and wider community benefits of volunteering with us.”
Find out more about volunteering at the Trust by clicking here, by calling 01793 605247 or send an email to email@example.com