celebrating Volunteers Month and we wanted to highlight some of the fantastic
people who help the Trust every day.
Although this year
has been tough, the Trust has still managed to retain some of our volunteers
for various roles, working within the COVID-19 restrictions.
During the first
lockdown the Trust recruited Pharmacy Volunteers and Patient Communication
Volunteers who assisted patients with video and phone calls to their family and
friends. And now that the hospital is slowly opening up visitation, we wanted
to focus on the Visitor Booking Service, which is run by Trust volunteers and
helps people make appointments to see their loved ones.
Mavis Francis, Voluntary Services Coordinator,
wanted to thank all of our volunteers for their service. She said: “We have had unprecedented circumstances over the past year but our
volunteers have not failed in their duty to the Trust by supporting our staff
“Many have been standing
down due to their own health and vulnerability to COVID-19, but also the health
and wellbeing of their families. They are all waiting in anticipation to return
to their roles. We have had some who have resigned and that is understandable,
but we are looking forward to welcoming our volunteers back into the Trust as
soon as restrictions are lifted further.”
Mavis is now
leading on the hospital’s Visitor Booking Service, which is run by eight
volunteers who are based at RCHC.
Mavis said: “We
are taking phone calls from the public Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm and
Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm. It is a very busy role where multitasking is
a key skill and I am so proud of how our volunteers have rolled up their
sleeves and have adapted to this very hectic environment.
“I know that thank
you does not seem enough to honour our volunteers but we do owe them a great
debt of gratitude.”
offered the opportunity to join the Hospital Visitor Booking Service team gave
me the chance to return to volunteering without direct patient contact. I was a
little anxious as I hadn’t received my second jab but understood that relatives
and friends had been unable to visit their loved ones during the pandemic. This
situation must have been be incredibly hard.
with relatives making their first scheduled appointments to visit and hearing
the pure joy and elation at being able to do so is priceless. That is a big
part of what volunteering is all about.”
“I started as a volunteer at Rotherham hospital following my retirement.
I have always enjoyed working with the public and volunteered on ward A5 until
the pandemic prevented volunteers working in clinical areas. I felt valued
on the ward as I helped out at breakfast and lunch times. In addition I helped
the housekeepers with stocking cupboards. Whilst on the ward I developed some
positive relationships with ward staff and the hostesses that provided meals. I
enjoyed the interaction with patients and their visitors. Volunteering has
provided me with a new network of friends and an opportunity to support
patients and staff within the hospital.
“Visiting is now opening up at the hospital and this provided an
opportunity for me to work in the visitor booking service. I am enjoying this
work as I am assisting visitors to visit the hospital safely.”
“The NHS means a lot to me and seeing the
inspirational work and dedication of all of its members throughout the pandemic
had me asking myself ‘if not now, then when?’, about volunteering. I couldn’t
stay at home when I knew that I might be able to help.
“Volunteering lets me give something back to my
local community and be a useful person, which is something I haven’t had in my
life for a few years for health reasons.
“Knowing that what I am doing could make a positive
difference to a person’s day is what keeps me going. Every day I am at the
Visitor Booking Service I have spoken to someone who is so very relieved that
they can come and see their mum/son/sister/grandad, and it is always a pleasure
to get them in ASAP.”
“Volunteers have not
been able to go into the hospital during the pandemic and I have missed having
contact with patients and visitors. I was pleased, therefore, to volunteer to
work on the Visitor Booking Service.
“I think that having
visitors when you are in hospital is important and beneficial, and I am glad to
be a part of this valuable service.”