Saturday, April 20, 2024

Volunteers wanted at Basildon hospital

IF you have some spare time on your hands and want to put it to good use, volunteering at Basildon University Hospital might be just the thing for you.

The Trust is always looking for volunteers whether it’s to meet and greet visitors, man the League of Friends tea bars, serve customers in the WRVS shops or help out in the library.

One such volunteer is Jennifer McFarlane who has turned her love of books into a weekly good deed for hospital patients in need of a literary fix. Jennifer selects a range of books that have been donated to the hospital library and takes them round to the wards for those patients that want to read.

Jennifer volunteers once a week and is keen to welcome more volunteers to the hospital. She said: “As I’m on my own, I only manage to get round a few wards on the Jubilee wing. If we had

more volunteers, we could cover more wards. It is very rewarding, even if people could only spare an hour or two.”

Eileen Palmer, Support Services Manager, said: “Our volunteers are essential members of staff and we have a range of different roles available from meeting and greeting visitors to providing office support and manning our library. Volunteering is a great way of meeting people, making friends and being involved in the hospital and it’s great fun too.”

Just as vital is the League of Friends, which runs two tea bars in the hospital and is always on the lookout for staff to join its friendly team. Volunteers are required to work a minimum of three hours a week for which they receive £4 toward their travel expenses. All profits made at the tea bars go back into the hospital and donations in the past 18 months have included £25,000 to the Polly Parrot Appeal, the purchasing of a portable scanner for the gynaecology department and an ECG machine for the Marjory Warren ward.

Rita Keeler, League of Friends Coordinator said: “Our tea bars help to raise most of the money, which we give to the hospital to enable them to buy equipment or items for patients or staff. Our volunteers are essential and we’d like to hear from anyone who would like to be part of this rewarding work and give something back to the hospital.”

If you’ve ever needed a newspaper or a bar of chocolate, you may well have stopped off at the hospital’s WRVS shop in the main reception and in the maternity department. Like the League of Friends, the WRVS donates vital equipment to the hospital and is also very keen to recruit new volunteers, who will need to be available for 3.5hrs a week and should have basic numeracy skills and be friendly and enthusiastic.

Chris Hall, WRVS Shop Manager is in urgent need of new volunteers and said: “Without our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to run the shop. I tell my staff that because they are helping the patients and the hospital they are giving back to the community twice. It really does give you great job satisfaction.”

* Anyone interested in volunteering at Basildon University Hospital should contact Eileen Palmer on 01268 524900 ext 4459 or email

* Potential volunteers for the League of Friends, should contact Rita Keeler on 01268 793864 or email

* For WRVS volunteers, please contact Chris Hall on 01268 593392 or email

* All volunteers will be required to go through the appropriate security checks.


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