Volunteers of all ages play an important role in the life of Guy’s and St Thomas’. Read some of their stories here.
Fran, volunteer at Evelina London Children’s Hospital Outpatients and Children's Blood Clinic
Fran joined the Trust volunteer team in 2013 after being commissioned as a freelance artist and project facilitator by a local charity ‘Creative Sparkworks’ to take part in a Guy’s and St Thomas’ Olympic event producing a collaborative mosaic artwork. Fran also volunteered on the Elderly Care wards with other volunteers from Creative Sparkworks engaging patients in art and craft activities.
When an opportunity came up to be a volunteer in the Evelina London Children’s Hospital she decided that it was for her and since the launch of the new electronic patient ‘check-in’ system in February this year, she has volunteered in the Evelina London providing a friendly ‘front of house’ welcome to children and their carers.
Fran says that she feels a valued part of the team and enjoys talking and listening to the children, their parents or relatives and staff. One of her memorable moments was when a little girl came up to her and offered her a plastic slice of pizza on a plate; she thanked her and took it.
In her spare time Fran enjoys mudlarking on the river Thames foreshore. She is interested in amateur archaeology and recently she attended the Thames Discovery Programme Tower of London Foreshore event which she said was really interesting.
Monty, volunteer at St Thomas' A&E
Monty started volunteering at the Trust in June 2013 as part of our initiative with the Department of Health. Staff from the Department of Health volunteer at the Trust to experience providing services for patients and their carers for a minimum of six months to assist them in their role in the Department.
Monty started off volunteering in the Evelina London as a children’s play volunteer, a role he enjoyed very much. He said “working with children is very rewarding – both the parents and children are very anxious when coming into hospital and being there as a children’s play volunteer really makes a difference. You are there to help the children come out of their shells and encourage them to play with the toys or colouring in pictures whilst waiting for their appointment”.
In April this year, Monty decided it would be good to experience volunteering in another area of the Trust and became a volunteer emergency department runner. Volunteers help the duty nurse in the front reception area, running errands and making sure patients are in the right area and showing patients where they need to go. They also help patients and relatives fill in the Friends and Family surveys so A&E can receive as much feedback as possible from those that have used the service to see what is working and what needs improving. Another important role the volunteer has is to chat to lonely or vulnerable patients to help make their time in the department as comfortable and friendly as possible.
Michael, volunteer at St Thomas' in the Knowledge and Information Centre