Farewell from Amy – Wellbeing Volunteer

Amyloudonphoto

I have just recently finished volunteering with Age UK North Tyneside in the hospital to home project. My time volunteering has been amazing. In the beginning, I was terrified of walking onto the ward, talking to any patient having no medical experience. After the initial warming up period, the ward staff came to know our group of volunteers and specifically picked out patients for us to talk to. Of course, you have bad days and good days. However when you walk away from a patient who is smiling or who’s relatives thank you for spending time with them, the bad days fade away. I loved the gossip tea parties, it was a chance to bring patients, relatives, volunteers and ward staff together in an informal environment. The quiz that Pam lovingly wrote was always a talking point that is sometimes handy when you run out of things to say. I have learnt and grown personally from my six months with the team. Because of my time volunteering, I have gone onto train to become a therapist. The experiences I have gained during my time have helped me to be accepted onto the training course. The support team from  Age UK North Tyneside and Northumbria Healthcare Trust are second to none. Their dedication to the project and the patients shines through. Of course, the support from the other volunteers kept me there every week. They reassured me that my bad days were rare and gave me ideas on how to approach conversation with patients. Hospital stays are scary times for anyone, but if there is a friendly face who does not want to take your blood pressure then it can make your time there easier.

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