1 June 2022
The Trust, which runs the county’s two acute hospitals, will be celebrating the difference volunteers make and thanking them for all their time and dedication during Volunteers’ Week.
The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s (SaTH) 294 volunteers touch every corner of the hospitals, dedicating over 1,000 hours of service each week across 30 different roles.
Volunteers work alongside hospital staff and contribute to the care of its’ patients and their families.
A tea party will be held for the volunteers on Tuesday 7 June at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, the following day. Certificates and long-service badges will be handed out to the volunteers.
Julia Clarke, Director of Public Participation, said: “We are committed to creating roles which are engaging to volunteers and enhance the services of the Trust. They do a tremendous amount for staff, patients and their families, and we are very proud of the enormous impact they make.”
People volunteer for many reasons and volunteers are a wide variety of ages and come from many different backgrounds.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering at the Trust, the Volunteer Team is holding a drop-in session for you to find out more – click here at register: Learn about volunteering at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust Tickets, Wed 1 Jun 2022 at 15:00 | Eventbrite or you can apply online via our website: Volunteering at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (sath.nhs.uk)
SaTH has put the spotlight on several of our volunteers for Volunteers Week (1-7 June). Volunteers have also been asked by the Trust: “Who did you help today?” as they don’t often think that a small act means such a lot to a patient or a member of their family.
Meet some of our volunteers:
Maher Almelhem, Response Volunteer at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Maher came to the UK from Syria and is volunteering to give back and to help with his future employment. He is a Response Volunteer, which means he is assigned to a hospital rather than a specific ward or department. These volunteers carry a mobile phone, which means staff can contact them from across the hospital to help where it is most needed.
He said: “I want to volunteer in the hospital because I love helping people who are in need. I know how it feels when someone helps you as I had when I came to England, so I want other people to feel the same. I hope for this to be my job in the future.”
Henry Nead, Response Volunteer at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Harry successfully gained a place in medical school since volunteering at the Trust.
“Exposure to patients in both difficult and happy circumstances made me value these interactions and taught me that I could be of some help to these patients and their families. This made me realise I was ready for the challenges of medical school,” he said.
“Part of the medical school application process are interview questions related to medical ethics, protocols, professionalism – among other important issues. Volunteering allowed me to contextualise my answers with my own personal experience, rather than just speaking theoretically. I could understand the intricacies of these topics having seen them first hand in a hospital.”
Nicola Bowden, Response Volunteer at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Nicola’s volunteering experience helped her to gain a role as an Healthcare Assistant (HCA) within the Trust.
“I began volunteering in August as a Response Volunteer based in the Admissions Office, helping take up patient belongings to the wards and redirecting patients to clinics and departments. This helped me developed my confidence and communication skills as well as my knowledge of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
“In January, the opportunity to support the wards as a volunteer came up. I applied as I felt it would be good experience before I start my nursing degree in September. I worked alongside the housekeeper, making hot drinks, supporting mealtimes, and answering the ward phone. This allowed me to get used to the ward environment, speak to patients and members of staff, and try to ease the pressures that the wards were facing.
“I then decided to apply for a position on the bank as a HCA as I felt this was a beneficial next step for me. I believe my experience volunteering aided me in getting the job as I was aware of the Trust values and the way the Trust operated.
“I am so thankful to the Volunteer Team for offering roles on the ward as I feel that for myself and many others it is amazing experience, especially for those going into a healthcare career like myself. The team helped me to develop confidence, communication skills and most importantly, the ability to help others.”
John Anderson, Response Volunteer at Princess Royal Hospital
“Throughout the pandemic, we met a lot of relatives of patients as the Response Volunteer Hub was the drop-off point for patient belongings (relatives were not allowed in the hospitals due to COVID-19 restrictions). On one occasion, I was signing in items to be taken up to a patient and the wife of the patient said, ‘We have been married for over 50 years and this is the first time we have been apart. Not seeing my husband for four weeks has been very hard’.
“She had to wait by the Response Volunteer Hub as she was waiting for me to go to the ward to collect items for her to take home. While delivering the items, I found out her husband’s bed was close to a large glass window within the ward. I spoke with a nurse on the ward, as I had an idea of something I could do for this patient and his wife. After giving the lady the items to take home, I took her outside to the window where I knew she could see her husband in person for the first time in four weeks.
“After 15-20 minutes she returned to the Response Volunteer Hub with tears in her eyes – as you can imagine I was close to tears myself. It is a privilege to be able to make a small difference for our patients and visitors”.
Lorraine Westbury, A&E Volunteer at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
“I work as a Meet and Greet Volunteer in A&E, which you would assume is to just greet people and let them know where to go, but it is often so more than that. One evening, someone arrived distressed and scared whilst waiting to be seen. I sat with this person and listened to them, reassuring them they were in the best place, and we would do everything to help them. I could tell they felt reassured by my presence and that they were not alone.
“I went home feeling happy in the knowledge that by being there I had helped someone feel better in such a worrying time for them.”