Celebrating volunteers’ week

Friday 2nd June 2017

Celebrating volunteers’ week

To celebrate volunteers’ week, the time of year when organisations recognise the enormous contribution volunteers make, we wanted to say a big thank you to our loyal supporters who last year collectively donated around 8,500 hours to the Queen Victoria Hospital!

As well as thanking them with a special coffee morning, we’d like to introduce you to some of our hidden heroes. Here they explain what they love about volunteering…

“Doing good and helping people – that was my reason for becoming a volunteer. In fact that’s why I’ve got two different volunteering jobs at the hospital. Just call me Man Friday as that’s the day I’m here! After retiring from a busy career working in insurance in the city, I happily found things to occupy most of my week but got to the point I needed something else to do as well. I found out about the Macmillan Cancer support centre being set up at QVH and it sounded perfect. So perfect I’ve just celebrated my fifth volunteering anniversary there – it’s great having been involved since the very start. I also help out in the hospital’s health record department. I like being organised which is a great skill to have in a busy team that works across the whole organisation. I’m delighted to still work with both teams and to be part of QVH – it’s a very special place.”

“I have a long connection with Queen Victoria Hospital. Back in 1977, I am proud to say, I got a prize for being the best nurse in training at QVH that year and have felt attached to it ever since. After I retired I worked as a volunteer on the main reception desk and one day I went along to an open evening about being a governor… I found a wide range of people and was encouraged to apply. I talk about QVH all the time, singing its praises and helping people to understand a bit more about how the NHS works. I am no public speaker, but I do have a real contribution to make, particularly when we are talking about what patients tell us about their care in our hospital.”

“I started my nursing training at QVH in 1980 and it’s never crossed my mind to leave! After a career is nursing, I helped set up the hospital’s patient advice and liaison service before it was time to retire. But I missed the place so came back as a volunteer and have helped on the main reception desk for about nine years now. I wanted to give something back. Our team of main reception volunteers are often the first people visitors meet when they arrive. It’s important they see a friendly face especially if they’re worried about being at a hospital or upset. I try and go that little bit extra for them, taking them to the department they need, or being helpful to put them at ease – handy that I know the hospital like the back of my hand! I really enjoy being part of the team.”

“I’m a trained librarian by background and have worked in various organisations including schools, colleges and for the London Fire Brigade. After taking early retirement I missed libraries which had been my life for 40 odd years. When I saw an opportunity to volunteer in the QVH library I just had to apply! I support the library team every Monday afternoon, doing anything from re-shelving books to scanning articles and creating statistics. QVH is part of the local community and to be associated with it is great – it’s a fantastic place and I hope the contribution I’m making every week helps the hospital.”

I used to work as a physiotherapist at QVH; it was my first job after I qualified and then I came back after many years working elsewhere. I think once you come under the QVH spell you have a lasting loyalty to the hospital, and I really wanted to be involved again. As a governor and chair of the appointments committee I very much feel part of a team. It is a real privilege to hear directly from staff and patients, and it does feel like it makes a difference.”

To find out more volunteering for the Queen Victoria Hospital click here.