“I cannot stress enough how much this experience has truly opened my eyes and taught me a great deal, not only about the healthcare profession and environment, but how it has enriched my social and cultural awareness to an extent that I believe I have grown as a person. I would personally like to thank the Doctors and Nurses in the Walk in Centre team and the Locala staff. I can say with all my heart I am proud to volunteer for Locala!”
Patient Helper (Dewsbury Walk in Centre)
“I applied for this role because I love working with children and wanted to help other mums. I enjoy all aspects of the role, particularly watching the babies grow and develop over time. Mums ask me lots of questions and I now feel comfortable providing peer support and sharing my own personal experiences.”
Parent & Child Supporter
“I’m really enjoying socialising with the residents and hearing their life stories. Many appreciate having someone new to talk to. My confidence has increased and I feel that I’m also learning from their life experiences.”
“This role has provided me with useful insight into a new organisation and its ways of working. I have gained structure and focus to my daily routine. I am pleased with what I have achieved and the role has helped me prepare for my return to work. I’ve found the whole volunteering scheme through Locala really well run and I’ve very much enjoyed the whole experience.”
Social Media Supporter
“I believe I have a greater understanding of the difficulties elderly people face when attending appointments, both in terms of health needs and transport. Volunteering has increased my compassion towards others and I am now less fearful about working with people with disabilities.”
Patient Helper (Cleckheaton Health Centre)
“This role has helped develop my confidence as I am now confident travelling to new locations and approaching new people. I have gained a real sense of achievement from helping others and giving something back. I really enjoy my volunteering role and am pleased that it gets me out of the house each week. It also gave me the confidence to apply for a more senior role at work, which I am now really enjoying.”
Maternal Low Mood Peer Supporter
“So grateful for the time I’ve had with the fantastic Walk in Centre staff; I am always singing their praises! Also happy to have been supported by the best volunteer co-ordinators! If I can come back in the future I will.”
Patient Helper (Dewsbury Walk in Centre)
“The Walk in Centre has been working with volunteers closely for nearly three years now and the support they provide is invaluable. They give support to the clinical team in a number of key roles, all necessary but time consuming - a commodity we have very little of:
They give us time to spend with our patients, to improve their outcomes and support the clinicians in their care of those patients. They provide much more than this though; they offer their help in any tasks we may have, they update the notice boards with health promotion advice and our current friends and family data.
This is not a one way street however, the volunteers learn about the processes within healthcare and employment in the environment. We encourage discussion with patients and colleagues to build confidence and support their learning. A number of our volunteers have gone on to higher education and we were able to support them with their applications and provide references. Some are now studying for medical and nursing qualifications and some have moved into full or part-time employment, citing how we have supported them in their futures.
This symbiotic relationship will hopefully help create the future of healthcare and the NHS, the volunteers have shown commitment and an eagerness to learn, which will serve them will in the future. We are keen to progress these future colleagues and are proud to call them part of the team.”
Clinical Team Leader, Dewsbury Walk in Centre
“Infant Feeding peer supporters play a significant and valuable role in the delivery of our specialist and wider breastfeeding support service. They provide a welcoming and friendly reception when new mothers arrive at the sessions, which can be a very overwhelming experience as mothers are often frightened and very vulnerable.
They provide an empathetic ear to mums and share their experiences and knowledge of common problems that helps mothers to find solutions and to feel that they are not alone in their experience.
Our peer supporters help mothers attending the sessions to strike up conversations with other mothers so they can share their experiences and support one another which is an incredibly valuable element of a successful breastfeeding journey.”
Infant Feeding Lead
“I was visiting Cleckheaton Health Centre and, as I was waiting at reception, overheard the Patient Helper/Supporter volunteer there helping a patient who needed transport home. She was very attentive, helpful and efficient and clearly put the lady at ease. As I waited, the volunteer came over to help me and pointed me in the right direction for where I needed to be. Her help and warm welcome made me feel very comfortable in a building I didn’t really know my way around at all.”
“At Dewsbury we are very happy with the assistance we receive from the volunteer Patient Helpers/Supporters, the friendliness and approach to patients is very helpful and inviting for patients when entering the building. They help with checking patients in, patient opinion and showing patients where they need to be or to be seated, which helps us on reception so we don’t need to leave the desk, especially if we are working on our own.”
Reception Team, Dewsbury Health Centre
“The first volunteer we recruited has been a fantastic asset to the team from her experience as a previous patient. She has been able to be empathetic with patients and she is very eager to help and enthusiastic. We have recently recruited a second volunteer who has settled in well, interacts well with patients and has a very positive approach to his role as a volunteer.”
Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse
“Volunteer entertaining my daughter was brilliant. Brilliant care and treatment’”
Taken from Family & Friends feedback, Dewsbury Walk in Centre