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Here Ella tells us how volunteering has been one of the best opportunities she’s had and how it’s helped prepare her to hopefully go on to study medicine and fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor:

“Before becoming a Ward Helper volunteer I had previously been volunteering at one of St Oswald’s charity shops so when I heard about working within the Hospice I thought it would be an amazing opportunity. I knew I wanted to try and get some voluntary experience in a clinical setting as I’m planning to study medicine at university. It’s good to get experience like this before pursuing a career in medicine as you get to see what the job entails, how hard it can sometimes be but also how rewarding it is.

“I’m so thankful I made the move as it has been an amazing experience and everyone is so welcoming and lovely. Volunteering has given me so many skills and built my confidence, as I speak to new people every time I am in, and it has allowed me to work within a very supportive team.

“Volunteering has had a positive impact on my life as even if I am stressed with school work, when I go to the Hospice I feel useful and more relaxed.

“I think the Hospice has coped with the changing guidelines and uncertainty due to Covid-19 really well. I’m thankful I’ve still had the opportunity to volunteer during the pandemic as it gives me a chance to get out of the house and socialise. Other than the PPE and some extra guidelines in place I don’t think much has changed, family members can still see their loved ones, which is so important. It’s nice to see that the Hospice is still just as welcoming, even if you can’t see the smiles under our masks!

“I love chatting to the patients on the Ward. It’s always lovely to have a catch up with them as we are giving them a cup of tea or coffee and asking if we can help them in any way. It’s also so rewarding to see how thankful everyone is to have the volunteers helping out, it is great that we can make the nurses days a little easier.

“Volunteering has been one of the best opportunities I’ve had. It has allowed me to build on skills like teamwork and communication in a professional setting. It’s definitely made me a much more confident person and has given me an experience which I can talk about in the future, at events such as job interviews.

“I love helping out and giving my time to such an amazing charity and I have met some wonderful people along the way. I could talk for ages about the skillset I have built whilst volunteering, these skills will be essential for my future career as a doctor and have bettered me as a person. I am so thankful to the Hospice and everyone there for the opportunities they have given me.”

Huge thanks to all of our amazing student volunteers. To find out more about volunteering at St Oswald’s, click here.