Jessica Volunteer

Connect with Dementia volunteer

My name is Jessica and I began volunteering with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust in July 2017 on the ward at Uckfield Community Hospital. My role was Connect with Dementia volunteer, supporting and spending time with patients with Dementia. I volunteered while I completed my final year of college. The best part of volunteering at the inpatient ward was getting to know the patients well, and knowing that they looked forward to my weekly visits.

After taking time out for my exams, I came back to Sussex Community Foundation Trust as a Meet & Greet volunteer at the Minor Injuries Unit. I greet patients, answer the phone, show patients around the hospital and make them feel welcome and relaxed. In this role I see a huge variety of cases each week, and enjoy putting patients at ease when they first arrive. It’s also been brilliant to meet all of the staff at both volunteer placements, and ask them questions about their careers in health care to give me a better understanding of what I hope to do in the future.

I volunteer because it enables me to give back to the community in my spare time. I’m able to make a positive impact on the patients’ hospital experience, which feels really rewarding! It also gives me a valuable insight into the workings of a hospital.

I’ve applied to study medicine at university in September 2019. Volunteering has broadened my experience and given me lots to write about in my personal statement!

Karen Hawes, Service Manager HWLH Minor Injury Units (Crowborough, Lewes and Uckfield) said, “I cannot express enough how well our volunteers seem to have settled in at Uckfield and how valuable their contribution is in supporting the staff with the service”.

Tim Crotty - Emergency Nurse Practitioner said "Our volunteers in Uckfield MIU now cover every weekday and are an invaluable part of the team. They are often a first point of contact in welcoming patients and explaining the process of registration etc. They are able to support clinical staff in so many ways. This includes the capture of plaudits and comments relating to friends and family questionnaires, which is particularly helpful when staff are busy