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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

Home > Patients and visitors > Volunteering > Volunteer stories

Volunteer stories

elaine-johnstonElaine Johnston, Aspen Ward, Cumberland Infirmary

 I started volunteering just after Christmas 2010. I know a Sister on Aspen ward and she asked me if I would be interested to help with their patient satisfaction surveys. I now volunteers every friday morning. I mainly do the surveys which involves speaking to patients about their experience on the ward. I also took up the bathrooms and generally help out by chatting to patients and even helping to find misplaced false teeth!

I get so much out of it and is gives me a lot of satisfaction. I used to be a nurse in primary care for 30 years so it's nice to take to patients and be on the ward. I'd say go for it! I absolutely love it.


Hannah Norris, Chaplaincy, West Cumberland Hospital

hannah-norrisI started with the NHS in May 2011 but I have been doing voluntary work for 20 years. It's something I have wanted to do for a while. I used to be a nurse and I have seen  how much having someone to talk to helps patients. I have also been a patient many times myself, so I have seen it from both sides. I volunteer in the Chaplaincy and I visit the wards. I do this once a week on a Wednesday afternoon. I visit Jenkin Ward for elderly care and I am renowned for my smile. I feel I make a difference. I would say you need to think carefully about being a volunteers as it's not for everybody. You have to get real job satisfaction from it as you are not being paid.


Jenny Hiddleston, Chaplaincy & Oncology (Cancer Care) Cumberland Infirmary

jenny-hiddelstonI have been volunteering at the Chaplaincy for about 16 years and in Oncology for about two years. I was diagnosed with  arthritis so I had to stop working. My Minister suggested that I may like to volunteer which I had never thought of doing before. I then decided to start volunteering in Oncology. The volunteers were making team and chatting and I though I'd like to help patients that way too. In the Chapel, we take it in turns to do prayers for patients and we each have an assigned ward where we go and talk to patients. In Oncology, I make tea and speak to patients especially if I see someone is sitting on their own or doesn't have visitors. I go to the Chaplaincy every Wednesday afternoon and on Oncology, every second Monday.

There are so many good things about volunteering - meeting new people and building a rapport with them. I get as much out of it as the patients do. I feel useful now I'm not working and its great to think I am making a difference to somebody. Some people look forward to seeing you the following week. Volunteering is the best things I've ever done.