Volunteers providing vital service for Hillingdon Hospital patients
Teenager Courtney Bradshaw is one of the many volunteers providing a helpful service to patients and staff at Hillingdon Hospital. As part of the recent Student Volunteering Week, spoke to Courtney about how invaluable her volunteering work can be
ATYPICAL day on Grange Ward for student volunteer Courtney involves providing general assistance, looking after patients during meal times and providing nurses with information for their daily records.
Courtney will meet and help up to 12 patients, with many of them finding comfort in the company of having someone to talk to.
Courtney told the Gazette: “I’ve seen that hospitals are very busy places and it’s difficult for staff to spend time sitting and chatting with patients, so I really feel like I’m helping just by providing that support and some company to them.”
Courtney is currently studying for her A-levels at Stockley Academy and feels that working in the ward has helped her to decide on a career path.
She added: “Before I decided to volunteer, I was unsure what course to study at university. I was interested in several options, but my mind wasn’t made up.
“Volunteering and having direct contact with patients has helped me to decide that I want to study adult nursing, and then specialise in mental health services.”
The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that it welcomes volunteers and has more than 200 helping at both its hospitals.
The volunteers provide support in lots of different ways, from walking on the wards to running the hospital radio and helping out on reception desks.
Anyone over the age of 17 can apply to become a volunteer and Courtney believes that more young people should take the opportunity to go and meet new people and gain new skills.
“A few years ago I wouldn’t have been interested in being a volunteer, but I realised that I could support my local hospital and gain some valuable experience at the same time.
“So if you’re in a position like I was, and are unsure what you want to do, even a small time spent volunteering can help you find your career path and open up more opportunities.”
If you would like to volunteer or for more information, contact the PALS/Voluntary Services Team at Hillingdon Hospital on 01895 279 973, or visit Hillingdon Hospital website at www. thh.nhs.uk/.
n VOLUNTEER: Courtney Bradshaw
n SUPPORT: Hillingdon Hospital