Our Volunteers Gallery

Find out what some of our volunteers do and why they enjoy their roles

Jeff White - Yeatman Hospital

Jeff has been volunteering at Sherborne’s Yeatman Hospital in the Willows Ward garden since August 2019. With a background in landscape gardening and having worked for Somerset NHS keeping hospital grounds neat and tidy in the past, we were very fortunate that Jeff brought his knowledge and enthusiasm to the Yeatman. 

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Working outside, on his own, Jeff has been able to continue throughout most of the pandemic. He is all you could wish for in a volunteer - generous with his time, hardworking, knowledgeable and cheerful. Not only does Jeff keep the Willows garden beautiful, he has transformed the two end-of-life suite gardens with colour and scent.  His cheerfulness is uplifting and he always has a smile and a wave for patients and staff alike.  In fact he has become a bit of a garden guru for staff too.

June McCourt, Hospital Secretary, said:

“Jeff has been instrumental in helping us with a new plan to create a garden area with raised beds. Patients will be able to tend these as part of their rehabilitation, enjoy being outside and provide benefit to those missing their own gardens.”

Like all volunteers, Jeff is very much a part of our community and his efforts are much appreciated by everyone.

Mary Kachel - Yeatman Hospital

Mary wanted to volunteer after the wonderful care her husband Peter received at the end of his life by the staff at the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne. Mary.jpg

She said: “I was struck by the way staff went way above their duty, the care was exceptional. They were so good and caring, not only to Peter but towards me and I felt I had to give something back.”  

Mary usually volunteers on a ward each week helping to serve hot drinks to patients and also enjoys a chat with people who don’t have any visitors. She also helps patients with sewing and crocheting. 

Numerous hand sewn items made by Mary have been donated and sold through the Yeatman League of Friends but when she couldn’t volunteer on the ward during the pandemic, she took on the sewing challenge to make ‘Button Bands’. Mary said: “Although these are a bit fiddly to sew they enable staff to wear masks without having the elastic rubbing the back of their ears and are a great help.”

Chris and Mary Steele - Victoria Hospital, Wimborne

Chris and Mary are keen gardeners at Victoria Hospital in Wimborne.mary and chris steele.jpg

During the pandemic they were unable to have access to the courtyard garden but they didn’t want to give up their volunteering so were keen to help by happily adapting their role to deliver comfort packages to our community hospitals, which were gratefully received. 

Sharon Boyle – St. Ann’s Hospital

Sharon is a Chaplaincy volunteer at St. Ann’s Hospital in Poole and is on hand to talk to patients over coffee.sharon boyle.jpg

She said: “Over coffee and quizzing, we talk amongst ourselves and wherever we have come from or whatever we are dealing with, there is something that connects us together in this space.

“The privilege of being a volunteer Chaplain is the permission to just ‘be with’. We hear too often of the pressures of life and the rushing around. Chaplaincy hopes to offer a place to allow people to just be, to meet them where they are.

“During my time with the Chaplaincy team, it has been delightful to be involved in holding church services for the patients and staff. Even last Christmas when it was not possible to travel around the units, myself, and the Chaplaincy lead (Mike Oates), filmed a nativity service for people to watch online! 

“Being a Chaplaincy volunteer is an absolute privilege and something I look forward to each week.”

Naomi Griffiths – Yeatman Hospital

Naomi has really taken to volunteering at the Yeatman Hospital. Naomi Vol-040.jpg

She initially joined with a view to help write an easy instruction guide for the digital ‘Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities’ which has been a great help to everyone.

Naomi now comes on to the ward every week and takes valuable time talking to patients finding out childhood stories, working life history, likes/dislikes, hobbies, interests and family.  She can then use this information to complete the ‘This is Me’ document which helps staff know the patient in more detail.

Naomi said: “Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and is so rewarding, it makes me feel I am learning so much about the healthcare environment and I’m making a difference. It’s made me realise I want a career working with people.”

Staff member Lorraine Squire said: “Naomi is a lovely cheerful lady and an asset to the team -  her caring approach contributes to patients feeling valued.”

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