Pictured: Lauren Wilkinson, who found her volunteering experience at Pinderfields Hospital invaluable.
A Wakefield mum catapults her career and secures employment in healthcare in just three months thanks to her role as a volunteer at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Lauren Wilkinson, 26, joined The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, as a volunteer on the elderly care wards at Pinderfields Hospital in September this year and has now secured the Health Care Support Worker role she always wanted at Rotherham Hospital.
Lauren previously worked as a support worker at a number of private, main stream, and specialist schools.
Lauren had a baby in January 2015 and after six months she felt ready to return to work but wanted to start a new career, still working in the public sector but with adults rather than children.
She applied for many healthcare positions and was offered numerous interviews and she always made it to the final stage. When asked for feedback on why she wasn’t successful it was always due to not having clinical experience or not having experience working in a hospital environment.
Lauren applied to become a volunteer at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust in August and was soon invited to attend a group interview before being selected as a volunteer. Lauren was invited to attend a variety of training courses including; induction to voluntary services, communication skills, nutrition & hydration training and dementia training.
Lauren was given the opportunity to volunteer on the elderly care wards at Pinderfields Hospital and introduced some of the ward’s dementia patients to the reminiscence rooms to help evoke happy memories.
Lauren said “The feeling of evoking someone’s memories and seeing how there body language and behaviour suddenly changes is for me I feel the most rewarding part of the becoming a volunteer. You have the time to be patient and create person centred activates to promote wellbeing when a person maybe feeling vulnerable or emotional.”
Lauren found her volunteering experience invaluable and it confirmed to her that she wanted to go further in her education in healthcare and put her practical hospital experience into an academic setting. She went to an open day for Sheffield Hallam University and was offered a place on a Professional health and social care BA honours degree course.
“If it wasn’t for voluntary services I don’t think I would be where I am today, I didn't have any experience working in a hospital so by having the opportunity to volunteer it gave me an insight into a hospital environment. By completing the professional health and social care degree I have the opportunity to go into many fields’” said Lauren.
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.
Vikki Padgett, Voluntary Services Manager at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, she said: “It can be hard to get into a profession when you haven’t got the experience and volunteering is a great way to do this. I’m delighted that, with our support, Lauren has been able to secure employment and further her training.”
Find out more about volunteering by contacting The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS
Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.