I feel privileged to be able to contribute to Saint Francis Hospice as a trustee

Ranjita Sen

Ranjita Sen is a trustee of Saint Francis Hospice, Havering-atte-Bower. - Credit: Saint Francis Hospice

My involvement with the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower came about quite effortlessly  at a time when I had been thinking about how I could get involved with a local voluntary setting.

I’d always been involved in some form of charity or voluntary work from school days, so when the time was right I accepted a volunteer role on reception and then over time moved on to ward duties.

After some time of enjoying my shop floor duties (and still enjoying!), I applied for a further strategic opportunity and was offered a governance committee adviser role.

It felt like a great way of extending my support to the hospice but equally an opportunity to put some of my professional skills, gained within the NHS, to use in another healthcare related setting.

I feel really privileged to be in a position to be able to contribute to an organisation both operationally and strategically and the step forward from an adviser to becoming a trustee earlier this year fulfilled my ultimate goal towards support in the voluntary sector.

I owe a lot to the NHS for my own personal and professional development and what better way to extend that learning than to apply it, where relevant, to a local charity-based organisation. And of course my own journey of personal development and learning continues.

Covid has changed the way we work in many settings and the hospice is no exception. My Sunday shift has become a little more restricted with the need to maintain distance, wear protection and generally keep a safe distance from patients.

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However, that has not meant that I cannot stop to have a chat with patients or fulfil the tasks that I normally carry out on the ward.

It is a testing time for all organisations in this sector – but I am sure with the good leadership we have in the organisation, innovative initiatives and staff support, the hospice will rise above what we hope are temporary pressures and continue to thrive in continuing its duties for the local community and beyond.

Over time I’d like to walk the pathway of all of the hospice’s functions.