Volunteer Harvey Pedley is delivering news of the outside world to bedbound patients at Pinderfields – after becoming the new hospital’s first-ever paper lad.
Hugely popular with patients and staff, the 30 year-old former footballer got first pick when the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust struck a deal with WH Smith’s to sell newspapers including The Wakefield Express on their wards.
And during his first shift on the elderly care wards, lively Harvey noticed just how much being able to read a paper meant to patients – particularly when they have few visitors or can’t move around.
“People on the wards were telling me how much they missed having their paper” said Harvey, “when you are so ill that you can’t get out of bed, a newspaper can be your contact with the world, a life-line and a friend, if you like.”
Harvey knows what it is like to be immobile having spent months recuperating from a car crash in 2006. His injuries were so serious that former Sheffield United youth team player Harvey had to forgo his dreams of completing a degree in sports science and becoming a physiotherapist.
It was when his mum was hospitalised for stomach problems that Harvey discovered more about volunteering at the Trust. “By then, I think I knew every ward and department and the quickest way to get to them” he revealed.
Now devoting up to 15 hours per week to helping to guide people around Pinderfields – and deliver their newspaper or magazine – Harvey hopes to work in a hospital full-time one day.
“Harvey is such a smiley, happy bubbly person who gets on with everyone” said Vikki Padgett, Voluntary Services Manager at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. “While he is a unique individual, his experience is typical of that of so many of our volunteers. Caring for others has enabled them to boost their life experience and their confidence and made many ready for work. It has also helped them create friendships for life.”
Volunteering opportunities are available in everything from guiding and newspaper delivery to becoming a befriender to those who rarely receive visitors. Find out more by contacting the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org