Scheme helps people give something back
Donations from supporters have enabled King’s to run this innovative scheme, which improves patient experience and supports staff. Volunteers help in so many ways, from popping to the shop or just being there when a patient needs someone to talk to. They also help in the gift shop and act as guides to help people find their way around.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to be a King’s volunteer. I am equally proud of every role I have been assigned. My main goal is to assist and make a small difference to the wellbeing of the patients.”
– Tet Ho, volunteer
Volunteers have their own reasons for signing up, often because of the care they received as patients. Tet Ho was treated at King’s in 2015 for heart failure and chronic kidney failure, while Paul Straupmanis was treated for serious injuries caused by a car crash.
Training the volunteers
Donations support the thorough training and day-to-day support volunteers receive, which ensures they feel part of the team and patients get the best possible experience with them. King’s is proud that it is seen as a centre of volunteer excellence; its programme featured in a Radio 4 documentary, Volunteer Nation.
Services run by volunteers include:
• Hospital 2 Home Service: Helping patients settle in at home after a stay in hospital with one-to-one support through the discharge process and beyond.
• Home Hamper Scheme: Patients receive a food parcel to take home with them.
• Social Club: Provides fun and social interaction for inpatients who are well enough to leave their wards.
• Activity Boxes: These are kept on elderly care and dementia wards, with the aim of triggering memories and helping interaction and conversation.
The palliative care team at King’s have two priorities. The first is to support people with serious or life-limiting illness that are often advanced in nature. The second is to support the care given in the final days or hours of life, training ward staff to deliver exceptional care.
“I’m very proud of the team and our work around dignity. Being able to offer these packs gives you a good sense of pride in our service, and that we’re making our care as individual as we can for our patients and carers.”
– Jennifer Carno
How Paul Straupmanis helps patients
“I enjoy speaking to patients who are in a similar position as I was and giving them comfort and hope towards getting better. Dealing with people who are struggling to come to terms with what happened to them can be a challenge, but I always seem to find a way to get through to them. Volunteering at King’s is one of the best things that I’ve ever done. I would not miss it for the world.”