'Time 4 You' volunteer roles
Southampton General Hospital (‘SGH’) has over 1,000 volunteers covering a wide range of roles. One of these is called ‘Time 4 You’.
Hospitals can make patients feel anxious as they are away from their family and their own environment. Anyone that has been in hospital will look forward to having a friendly face visit and but there are many patients that do not have family, or family living nearby, which can be disheartening for a patient when they see those next to them have visitors. Time 4 You helps to address this gap as a volunteer will spend time with such patients.
For just over a year, my time as one of these volunteers is spent between the stroke and elderly care units at SGH. This time can be invaluable for the patient, whether it is spent talking, playing games or just holding their hand. My experiences to date have included communicating with a stroke patient to help with his slurred speech, asking a dementia patient to recall stories from her past to help with her memory and calming an agitated patient by just focusing on the positive aspects of their stay in the hospital.
That is the simplicity but highly effective nature of the Time 4 You role. All that is needed is time, the willingness to help and a caring personality.
Releasing time to care
As a Time 4 You volunteer, the role is appreciated by SGH staff that do not always have the time to sit with a patient on a one-to-one basis, family members or friends of the patient that cannot attend SGH that often, and also the patients themselves for making their stay at the hospital as enjoyable as possible.
Each and every volunteer at the hospital has a role to play and is commended for what they have given to the hospital. SGH provides a high level of care and to be able to complement that care has been incredible. What I get back from volunteering significantly outweighs the time I put in. To make a patient smile, sing or just feel at ease is something special. In addition to this, learning something new each time I volunteer makes the experience even more worthwhile.