“Keep Up the Good Work…!”
These words of appreciation – heard frequently from the hospital patients (and staff!) from ward to ward - are always so uplifting for the trolley volunteers.
The trolley service, which - apart from a break of almost 2 ½ years due to Covid – has operated continuously for many years. It involves pushing a trolley load of cold drinks, sweets, biscuits, toiletries, newspapers or magazines around the hospital wards, whilst also providing a free ‘chat’ (or listening) service to anyone who wants to engage in conversation – and many do – due to isolation, worry about their medical condition, or simple boredom; and for the volunteers it is primarily this part of the service that is most appreciated and rewarding, on both sides. The appearance of a friendly face, and a few words can assist the healing process in ways that medical treatment alone cannot.
Here are what some of our volunteers say:
“I can't think of a better way of spending your time than volunteering. You meet so many nice people who have undergone some horrific experiences but can still be positive. The staff are so welcoming and as delighted as the patients when we turn up with a trolley full of goodies. In my experience you get more out of volunteering than you possibly give. Come join us.”
“Loading and pushing the trolley around the wards for three or four hours might seem easy, but by the time I have offloaded the cold drinks back into the fridges and re-stocked the trolley, cashed up and headed off home to give Hooligan his third walk of the day, I am about ready for half an hour’s sit-down to recuperate!”
“I recently started ‘trolley shop’ volunteering a few months ago and it has quickly become a highlight of my week! I pop down to the hospital an evening or two every week after my day job and do my rounds of the wards. I have already gathered a few ‘regulars’ to chat to but will come away from every shift having had some great interactions with patients, and with some new found wisdom. It’s a fascinating volunteering opportunity and brings real joy to the patients and staff (and us!) when they need it most!”
“I find the interactions with patients and staff on our trolley rounds can sometimes be really inspiring; for example, hearing and seeing how bravely some deal with the ‘curved balls’ life has thrown at them. Most days, we have at least one or two moments of real connection, and leave feeling that we might have made a small difference to somebody’s day. It makes the physical exertions of loading, lugging, and unloading the trolley and wandering for miles around the hospital labyrinth totally worthwhile!”
We could really do with some more volunteers…… Do you have a spare four or five hours once a week to give it a go? We’d be delighted to hear from you, and so would the patients (and staff).