Joan, ward assistant
I've been at Willow Wood for over 15 years now, and was inspired to volunteer at because of the wonderful care given to my father when he was a patient, and the support we experienced as a family. Back then, as a relative, we had to wait two years before volunteering, but it was something I really wanted to do.
Every day is different, although we do have a checklist of things to do, including answering the phone, serving patient meals and helping them to eat if needed. I always pop in and introduce myself to any new patients and their loved ones, see if they want a cup of tea, a chat or if there is anything else I can do for them. A lot of the relatives need a hug, and just that human contact can help so much if they are distressed, or feeling vulnerable.
Volunteering is so rewarding. Working on the inpatient ward I see people at their lowest and being able to give them love, care and support helps them, as I was helped when my father was here.
And I have to say how wonderful the staff are. Their care is second to none, and they are so appreciative of everything the volunteers do. I feel that if I can take a little of the load it frees them up to get on with nursing.
Both the staff and volunteers form such strong bonds, we all know that we’ll be there for each other whatever happens. I couldn’t imagine not being here. Volunteering at Willow Wood is a joy, I can only say I get so much more than I give.