In the midst of Volunteers’ Week, patients at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have been singing the praises of over 500 volunteers who do all they can to make a visit to one of its three hospitals run as smoothly as possible.
The volunteers are a vital part of the Trust’s team and support with a range of duties from guiding patients around the hospitals and serving in the cafes, to delivering newspapers on the wards.
Jan Garnett is the relative of one elderly Dewsbury patient who was truly grateful for the service that the volunteers provided her 95 year old mother-in-law. “Doris had two appointments last week, but we were unable to get up to Yorkshire to be with her,” said Jan. “I contacted the PALS team in the hope that someone would be able to support Doris whilst she was at the hospital.
“She is very frail, immobile, has great difficulty hearing and understanding, is confused, and generally not all that well. So as you can imagine we were a little worried.”
Doris was also recovering from pneumonia, having just spent four weeks in Pinderfields and had a UTI. The hospital contacted Jan and offered the services of volunteer Barry Nicholas to chaperone Doris during her appointments. Not only did this provide the family with comfort and reassurance but they were also extremely appreciative of Barry who went the extra mile.
“There are times in life when the words ‘thank you’ do not seem adequate, and this is one of them,” said Jan. “Not only did Mr Nicholas go to a lot of trouble to ensure he was there at just the right time to meet Doris, he accompanied her to her appointments and even took her for a cuppa - for which she did not even pay! As if this was not enough, he went that extra mile to telephone us from his home that night to tell us all about it and put our minds at rest.
“I want to say a really big thank you to the volunteers at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, they truly are the backbone of our beloved National Health Service.”
Accompanying Doris was all in a day’s work for Barry, who took up his volunteering role after retirement. “When I retired I knew I wanted something to do to keep me busy and give me the opportunity to meet new people, so I took up volunteering.” said Barry.
“You meet some lovely people and Doris was one of them. It’s a real pleasure to be able provide help and comfort to people, and when it’s appropriate I always try and have a laugh and a joke with them.”
The Trust is always on the lookout for more volunteers like Barry. As well as providing people with the opportunity to make a difference in their community, volunteering can also give a valuable insight into a specific career or what it’s like to work for a certain organisation.
You can find out more about the volunteering opportunities at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust by visiting one of these recruitment stands during Volunteers’ Week:
Monday 6 June, Pontefract Hospital, 12pm – 4pm
Thursday 9 June, Dewsbury Hospital, 12pm – 4pm