I have been volunteering at East Cheshire NHS Trust in a Welcomer role since October 2019.
Prevuously I was in full time employment and looking forward to retiring when my husband retired. We were looking forward to spending more time together, unfortunately this was not to be as he was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away.
I carried on working but the joy of retirement was not the same and I worried a lot about having too much time on my hands so I just kept on working just cutting back slowly for quite a few years until I decided this wasn’t what I wanted. I needed to be useful and my grandchildren were all growing up fast and I wasn’t needed to look after them as much as I used to. They used to keep me really busy!!!
So I decided that volunteering might be the answer - I would be able to give back to the community whilst also being busy.
I absolutely love what I’m doing. I have met new friends and work with two lovely ladies every week. I feel as if I’m helping and making life just that little easier for the people that need to come into the hospital who often feel a little bit worried and over anxious about finding the right department or ward to go to, or even just where the toilets are and how the car parking system works. They’re only small things but can feel like a huge problem if you don’t know the hospital and at this time in the midst of the pandemic people are being asked to come on their own, which makes the experience doubly daunting especially for the more elderly patients and it’s good to be there to help and reassure them.
We also have a new self-check in system and this can be a huge hurdle for patients who have have a dread of technology so we are happy to assist them.
There is nothing nicer than when someone comes over and says “thanks very much for your help” as it makes me feel humble and 10 feet tall at the same time!
It is very satisfying to know that I could make a worthwhile difference.