Gerald, Volunteer Driver
I’m Gerald, I’m a volunteer driver 2 days a week, some of the activities include taking discharged patients home, delivering medications, delivering equipment, collecting virtual ward equipment and I also volunteer a 3rd day in the path lab making up FIT packs for distribution to GP surgeries. I have been volunteering for just over 2 years. I wanted to volunteer my time to help patients and support staff in the NHS. I chose to be a volunteer driver and the varied activities which go with it, as I enjoy driving, meeting people and being part of a large team.
What difference do you feel your volunteering makes, to patients, staff and yourself? The FIT packs I put together save the staff time from doing a tedious but important job and gives me a feeling of belonging and having helped. I like helping staff in the Discharge lounge by collecting medication from the pharmacy and wards and being valued help
Are there particular skills or previous experiences that you have found beneficial in your volunteering? I previously worked in a business which involved dealing with people at different levels and organisational skills and this has assisted me in dealing with patients, nurses and managers.
Have your learnt anything about yourself since volunteering? I have learned a lot about how the NHS processes work.
Could you share a memorable moment as a volunteer that stands out to you?
Seeing how pleased patients are when they realise I’m taking them home sooner than they thought and also seeing the happiness when they arrive in their own home. I took a patient to Lincoln who had been let down previously by other transport providers after he had been waiting 2 weeks, he was very relieved and the excitement on his face was a picture when he realised he was actually leaving the hospital.
Would you recommend it to others and what advice would you give to volunteers and staff?
I enjoy the variety of volunteering as each day is different and also meeting new colleagues. I would recommend volunteering to anyone considering joining. I would advise other volunteers and staff that it’s important to meet and interact with new people and colleagues. I also enjoy helping new colleagues who have joined the team.