Volunteers week 2018
The 1st of June marks the start of National Volunteers Week for 2018. This week is an opportunity to say thank you to volunteers and to hear about the different motivations of those who choose to give their time to help others. For some it’s a way for them to support their local community or to gain experience in a work place or, like Barnet Hospital Volunteer Maureen Brown, to say thank you to those who have helped them.
Today marks the first day of National Volunteers week (1st of June – 7th of June) and is a chance for organisations like the Royal Free Charity to say thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who support patients, staff and families.
The Royal Free Charity has over 750 volunteers at the 3 hospital sites, Royal Free, Chase Farm & Barnet, at several satellite sites and at their four charity shops. We have volunteers ranging in age from 16 years old to 94 who work tirelessly to make every patients experience the best that it can be. Volunteers engage in a range of activities from directing patients around the hospital, helping with meal times; chatting with patients, making tea and coffee, playing games with patients, nail painting, arts and crafts, running a book trolley service and much more.
Maureen has been a volunteer at Barnet Hospital for 17 years. She started off as a chaplaincy volunteer then moved to the reception desk and is now a SatNav Guide helping patient’s find their way around the hospital.
“The Royal Free saved my life. I was completely paralyzed and spent 5 months on the high dependency unit. With the help of the amazing staff at the Royal Free I have done very well. Volunteering is my way of saying thank you,” said Maureen.
Maureen is a qualified accountant and worked in the computer industry helping companies to use accountancy software when it first became available. After being made redundant and being struck down by illness she lost a lot of confidence. By volunteering she was able to come out of her shell again and rebuild that confidence.
“When I was on the reception desk people couldn’t see my wheelchair, but once we were moved from behind the reception desk to the new SatNav role I had to approach people and felt very shy. But I stuck at it and really came out of my shell,” said Maureen.
Maureen used to live in Hampstead but for the past 20 years has lived in Barnet and wanted to help give something back to her local hospital.