Pupils at Derby Grammar School have been offering a helping hand at a local hospital.
The four sixth formers – Louis Hale, Hannah Lakritz, Daniel Diaz Blanco and Amogha Ramasharan – volunteer once a week at London Road Community Hospital, feeding and caring for patients.
They were inspired to help after a talk by the hospital’s volunteer coordinator, Julie Bradley, who outlined opportunities for students to become mealtime assistant volunteers.
Following a day of NHS induction, plus a half-day wheelchair and feeding training, the four were ready to hit the wards.
They are helping to enhance the patients’ wellbeing and nutritional intake, leading to a speedier recovery
“I’ve been going once a week for three weeks now and we are supposed to be going in for 24 weeks, but I’m hoping to extend that,” said Hale.
“I’ve loved it so far. I like talking to people anyway, so it’s good to be able to talk to the patients; some of them don’t get many visitors. I think this is a great experience for us and will hopefully help going forward as I want to study medicine.”
“I’m really enjoying it,” added Lakritz. “I help feed patients who can’t feed themselves and talk to them, too. Staff can’t look after all of them all of the time so it’s like having an extra eye.”
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Bradley was full of praise for her volunteer recruits.
“They are helping to enhance the patients’ wellbeing and their nutritional intake when they are in hospital, leading to a speedier recovery,” she said.
“[The work] will also help the young people who may be interested in a future career in healthcare.”