Matthew Ward is 17 years old and volunteers at North London Hospice at Winchmore Hill once a week.
Here he describes a little bit more about what his role as a volunteer entails.
What made you want to volunteer at North London Hospice?
I first heard of North London Hospice through family friends who had spoken highly of their services. Seeing the positive impact that the Hospice had on patients and their families made me want to get involved. I was also keen to develop an ability to interact with patients and gain some experience working regularly in a healthcare setting, which would better prepare me for the challenges of a career in medicine, which is my future ambition.
What kind of duties do you take part in at the Hospice/what’s your typical day like?
Typically, I work in the Winchmore Hill hospice in the front office, where I handle staff and patient information. Here, I am also responsible for greeting patients and families upon arrival and for receiving phone calls when needed. Later in the day I also get the chance to chat to patients in the social area and accompany them with the driver if they require transport home. I am also responsible for assisting with the locking up of the hospice at the end of the day.
How often do you volunteer at the hospice?
I volunteer on Tuesday afternoons from 1:30 – 5:00 in between my A level studies at college.
What would you say to someone that’s thinking about volunteering for the hospice?
I would encourage anyone thinking about volunteering for North London Hospice as it’s a hugely rewarding experience, where you have the opportunity to improve the lives of patients and their families through your work. I would also point out that even people with a busy working week can get involved, with just a few hours work at the Hospice each week you can make a difference. In terms of settling in at the Hospice, I found the staff hugely supportive and they really helped me to quickly grow into my new role.
What do you like about volunteering for the Hospice?
One aspect of working at the Hospice that I enjoy is working within a team, alongside dedicated volunteers, to provide a range of services for patients to use. Seeing the benefits that our visitors gain from these services is hugely rewarding and is what makes this role so unique. I also enjoy the variation that comes with working here, where no two days are ever the same. The different challenges faced as a hospice volunteer provides the opportunity to develop a variety of skills that are applicable to a wide range of professions.