Volunteer Welcome Guides provide a friendly welcome to visitors arriving at hospital.
They also assist outpatients using the hospitals’ new self check-in monitors and touch-screen information points to help them find their way to clinics and appointments.
David Thomson, retail area manager – Scotland West at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Arriving at a busy hospital can be stressful for anyone but for older people, it can be particularly overwhelming.
“Our enthusiastic volunteer Welcome Guides help people navigate their way around hospital and, particularly, to reassure and support older hospital visitors. Royal Voluntary Service (or WVS as it was originally known) has supported the NHS since its inception. For anyone with a few hours a week to spare, becoming a volunteer Welcome Guide is a great way to support the NHS and the local community.”
May Kennedy has been a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer for over 30 years and is a Welcome Guide at Stobhill Hospital.
She said: “Volunteering is a great way of getting to know people and help others. I support the hospital trolley service and assist with the check-in monitors, assisting patients with booking themselves in and directing them to where their appointment is. You are never short of something to do as there are always new challenges.
“We are always looking for volunteers to come and give their time which I’m sure anyone would find rewarding.”
Volunteering at both hospitals is flexible to suit individuals. Some Welcome Guides volunteer once a week for a few hours whilst others volunteer every day. No previous experience is necessary and full training is provided. Royal Voluntary Service volunteers at Stobhill Hospital also run a pop-up retail unit and an on-ward trolley service selling healthy refreshments, reading materials and other essentials.
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals, at home and in the community. The focus is on building confidence, improving well-being and keeping loneliness at bay through an array of social activities and more structured support. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.
To find out more about becoming a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer Welcome Guide, contact Sharon Barclay on 0734 207 8440, email [email protected] or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteer