"I can't recommend being a volunteer at King’s highly enough – it makes me get up in the morning as it is so rewarding!"
Chris Baldwin, King's Volunteer
Ward visitor – Chris Baldwin
Chris has been a King's Volunteer for more than 25 years
"I have been a ward visitor which involves visiting patients on a ward. I was mainly a ‘listening ear’ and ran errands for them.
"For the past five years I have worked on Tuesday mornings in eye surgery, holding patients’ hands while they have their cataracts removed under local anaesthetic.
"I greet them as they come in and talk to them and try to help them relax before surgery starts. I hold their hand throughout the procedure, and then help escort them back to the waiting area and usually make them a cup of tea.
"As well as helping in eye surgery I work on the chemo ward. I chat with patients and get them teas and coffees as many can't move out of their chairs because they are attached to drips. I also do admin work in the Chaplaincy Department.
“I meet the most amazing people and I feel it is a privilege to be able to help them. I can't recommend being a volunteer at King’s highly enough – it makes me get up in the morning as it is so rewarding. King’s has helped me with various medical problems over the years and I want to give something back for all the help they have given me. Don't take my word for it – give it a try and see for yourself!”
Hospital guide - Barrie Armstrong
Barrie wanted to help after he received speedy treatment at King’s. “I suffered a detached retina requiring an emergency operation and was really impressed by the speed of the treatment I received!” he explains. “This further fuelled my resolve to become a member of the King’s volunteer team and I completed my online application a few months later. It’s a very satisfying and worthwhile way to make a difference in the community.”
Barrie has been a volunteer guide for four years – a vital role in such a large hospital. “I travel around the hospital helping people get to where they need to be, whether they are patients, visitors, hospital staff or medical students,” he explains. “If patients or visitors are late for an appointment, or in the wrong part of the hospital, I escort them to where they need to be to ensure they get there without further delay.
“Besides my guiding duties, I also help in the volunteer's office one day a week and assist on some of the Recruitment Events and Fairs.”
Charity shop and ward trolley volunteer - Jean Phelps
Jean volunteers with Friends of King’s pushing the ward trolley as well as working the Friends’ shop and the gift shop. She has been volunteering at King’s since 1985.
“I volunteer at King’s because it’s here in Denmark Hill - it’s a place I have known all my life and the volunteers and the Friends of Kings are known to me. I was a teacher in the area so I have experience of bringing children here.
“I hope the hospital feel that we help and we do a service. But from my own needs, it gets me out of the house. I have commitments in the week which give some shape to the week because you miss a full-time job when you retire. I go to meet people, all sorts of different people.”