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Event to find out about hospital volunteering opportunities

Wednesday, 06 January, 2016
Event to find out about hospital volunteering opportunities

People are being invited to an event next week to find out more about helping to brighten up patients’ stays in community hospitals in Northumberland.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is looking to recruit volunteers to improve patients’ experiences of being in hospital and is holding an event at Morpeth NHS Centre on Monday 11 January 2-4pm for people to learn more.

The trust is aiming to take on people who regularly have a few hours to spare to spend time with patients on wards at Alnwick Infirmary, Berwick Infirmary, Blyth Community Hospital and the Whalton Unit in Morpeth.

The volunteers would facilitate activities with patients such as playing cards and other games, reading books and newspapers and reminiscing.

At the drop-in event which takes place in Room 4 on the first floor, people will be able to chat over refreshments to the hospital’s matrons to find out more about the role and how it benefits patients.

Julie Button, modern matron for Alnwick Infirmary and the Whalton Unit, said: “We are passionate about ensuring our patients have the best possible experience in our hospitals and doing all we can to increase social interaction.

“While we have made great strides in this area, we recognise there is always more we can do, particularly for our elderly patients, and volunteers can play a hugely important role in this.

“Simple activities such as chatting with patients about old times, playing cards together or reading out loud can all help to improve patients’ health and wellbeing, have a positive impact on their recovery and help them get better more quickly.

“Some of our patients do not have family or friends who live close by to visit them, so it really means a lot when someone comes along to spend time with them individually and gives them a real boost.

“Having volunteers who come into hospital specifically to carry out these activities will help structure them and ensure they happen regularly.

“We’d encourage anyone who is interested in the role and has a few hours to spare on a regular basis to come along to the event to find out more. We’re looking for people who are willing to help our patients and ideally have experience of engaging with older people.”

Full training will be given and hours will be flexible. For more information, or if you are interested in the roles however not able to attend the event, contact 0191 203 1511.

Recruits would become part of the trust’s Hospital Volunteer Service (HVS) which has around 850 volunteers across its sites. These include meeting and greeting patients and visitors at hospital entrances, working in one of the HVS shops and facilitating ward activities.

Wards at community hospitals provide elderly medicine, specialist rehabilitation and palliative care.

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