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“I am a dining companion volunteer on the stroke rehabilitation ward and I’ve worked at the Trust for just over six months.

"I have a passion to study medicine at university, so having an increased understanding of how illness affects not just the patient, but family and friends too was something I was really interested in.  I am aware of how valuable everyone is who works within the NHS, and how important volunteers really are to help lessen the pressure on wards.  I wanted to be a part of a multidisciplinary network to really improve patients’ hospital experiences and boost their morale by showing a friendly face and helping in any way I can.

"It is a real privilege to volunteer in the NHS and I have just completed Level 1 as a volunteer dining companion and I am about to start Level 2.

"I absolutely love knowing that I’ve helped patients in a really practical yet emotional way.  Having a stroke can be extremely life-changing and limits movement to one side of the body, therefore it gives me great satisfaction knowing that I’ve aided a patient by simply chopping their food up and realising how important good nutrition can be in a speedy recovery.  I love meeting new patients and working with the lovely, caring, hard-working staff members on the ward. It’s a pleasure to observe patient progress over the weeks and help them to regain their skills.

“For me, a good day is when you see the benefits of volunteering in a real-life setting, and above all to see a smile on patients’ faces! It’s really noticeable when lots of patients visit the day room on the ward to eat their lunch, and most importantly seeing that they’ve enjoyed interacting with me and other patients.

“I’ve been given some great advice that has helped me with this role - always remain calm and that is the best way to approach a problem.  Try to empathise with patients and be a great listener and most importantly, put a smile on your face and that will reflect on patients - and always enjoy it!”

26 March 2018

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