"I started volunteering at County Hospital eight years ago. It's a lovely job that ranges from making teas and coffees in the morning to engaging with patients and making them feel comfortable during their time on the ward. I feel quite privileged to be able to interact with them and some of the stories are fascinating.
"I think the role of volunteers is a necessary one for any modern hospital and it's a lovely feeling to be able to give something back and be a part of something so wonderful. Volunteering can be a really valuable introduction into healthcare for people who may be considering a career in the profession. If you're committed and enthusiastic, then it's an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience."
"As a student at Keele University I was looking for opportunities in the local area for volunteering. I study Biomedical Science so there's an obvious benefit to volunteering with regards to my course, as I'm able to see patients in situ in an acute hospital and see how the diagnostic technology works. However, I'm equally as enthused by the chance to just help out and support the amazing work of the A&E team.
"I really just try my best to help support and alleviate some of the pressure that the team is under. I help provide drinks for patients and relatives and re-stock various items so the clinical teams can carry on with their daily duties. It's a very fast paced and enjoyable environment and it's really interesting to be able to interact with patients who pass through the department. There are obviously lots of students living on campus and in the local area who study at Keele, and to any of them who may be thinking about volunteering I would wholeheartedly say, do it!"
Barry volunteers at County Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.
He said: "One of the reasons I started volunteering is the social aspect. I've worked all my life alongside people and within a team so when I retired I really missed that camaraderie. Volunteering is a great way to recapture that whilst helping out for a great cause. Volunteering is very rewarding as it provides a great opportunity to interact with other people, whilst giving back to the community."
Anne volunteers at the Fresh Hair Salon at County, which is based on the Chemotherapy Unit.
She said: "I'm a receptionist at the Fresh Hair salon, which means that I help meet and greet patients who are here to have their wigs fitted whilst also assisting those who want to buy other items such as hats and scarves. I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering. If anybody is thinking about getting involved then I would encourage them to speak to the volunteering team at UHNM and find out how you can be a part of something really special."
"I volunteer in the Cath Lab and typically, my shift is on Tuesday's from 9:30am to 15:00pm. It's a really interesting and enjoyable role that enables me to speak and interact with a variety of different people before they undergo their procedures. Most of the time my role involves providing support for patients even if that's just something simple like talking to them or making a tea or coffee. Sometimes being able to talk to a non-clinical member of staff can be quite comforting for a patient before their procedure and I think they really value the support during what can be a nervous time.
"I spend 15-20 minutes making tea and talking to patients in the waiting area, which is valuable time staff can spend with patients who are coming out of procedures. I would encourage anyone who is considering volunteering to come along and see if there any opportunities available. Not only does it look great on your CV, but it also helps give you a real insight into the NHS. I know it's a bit of a cliché, but it's really rewarding to finish each shift and know that you've been able to give something back."