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Happy Havering hospital volunteer encourages others to ‘give back’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 January 2017

Jeffrey Marks, who volunteers at Queen's Hospital, enjoys cheering up patients.

Jeffrey Marks, who volunteers at Queen's Hospital, enjoys cheering up patients.

BHR Hospitals

A man who has volunteered for nearly two decades, is encouraging others to donate their time to help make a difference to hospital patients.

Jeffrey Marks, 69, of Wittering Walk Hornchurch, gives shaves and haircuts to men on Sunrise A ward at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford and also helps with meals.

He joined Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust 10 years ago, by starting as a volunteer at King George Hospital.

“I had some time which I could give to others and wanted to give something back. It’s a lovely thing to do and I enjoy talking with them and hearing their stories,” he said.

“Of course some people don’t want to be there, and I find as I spend time with them, they open up. We talk about their families, and some of the elderly gentlemen tell me about their service history, I find it really interesting.”

The father-of-two and grandfather-of-five feels real satisfaction when he sees his patients get well, and if anyone is feeling a bit down, finds a few jokes always goes down well.

He added: “It really brightens people up. Some of the ladies then tell me jokes which sometimes make me blush! Sunrise A is a lovely ward to work on.”

Jeffrey volunteers twice a week at the hospital, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

The Trust is keen for more volunteers to get involved and will offer training.

To find out more contact volunteering@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk or visit bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/volunteer for more information.

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