Saint Francis Hospice: By volunteering on the ward I’m relieving pressure on nurses
- Credit: Archant
Jules Goodger, ward volunteer at Saint Francis Hospice, says she’s always guaranteed a smile and a laugh from patients and staff
From a secretary to a social work teacher, I’ve enjoyed a varied career.
Yet nothing quite measures up to the fulfilment I get from volunteering on the ward at Saint Francis Hospice.
People often ask me how I can spend time in, what they believe, to be such a sad environment. I’m very quick to point out that it’s an extremely happy place. I simply love being at the Hospice.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, I’ve taken on more hours. Some of our volunteers are in the high-risk category or over 70, so I’ve been covering their shifts until it’s safe for them to return.
You may also want to watch:
The most challenging part of my role is getting to know a patient, only for them not to be there when I return.
Yet, I’m prepared for that. I’m always guaranteed a smile and a laugh from the patients, nurses, and other staff, which makes those situations easier.
- 1 'True hero': Tributes paid to Harold Hill family man
- 2 Ambulance stations to close and be replaced by single centre, LAS reveals
- 3 Plans submitted to demolish pool and erect new school building in Rainham
- 4 Romford pupils, 13, qualify for next stage of national maths competition
- 5 Disruptions to your journey by car and train around Romford
- 6 Councillors' letters were opened without permission, Town Hall admits
- 7 No changes to blood test services in Havering at present
- 8 Six Caribbean businesses to support in Romford
- 9 Rainham gang members jailed for stealing 'over 130' vehicles
- 10 Tributes paid to well-loved Romford market fruit-seller
The coronavirus has changed the way I work. Namely, I have to wear extra PPE.
It can be quite stifling at times, but I’m no stranger to gowns, masks and gloves. I care for my niece, who is living with multiple disabilities, so I’m used to those extra precautions.
When I’m delivering meals to patients, I always tell them that it’s “service with a smile” — even though a mask is covering my face. They often say to me that they can see I’m smiling by my eyes.
Everyone has done so incredibly well to keep the coronavirus out of the hospice.
Patients’ visitors have been so understanding. They’ve also had to don extra personal protective equipment.
It’s rewarding to know I’m doing my bit during the pandemic. By volunteering on the ward, I’m relieving the pressure on the hospice nurses, and in turn, the NHS.
Knowing that I’m helping makes me feel so much better about myself.
As well as volunteering, I juggle two new-found careers: wedding planning and performing ceremonies for weddings, funerals, and namings.
Working on the ward isn’t for everyone but there are so many ways you can give your time and skills to help the hospice.
To find out more about the volunteering opportunities available, please visit sfh.org.uk