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A celebration of all our NHS volunteers across North West London

Published on: 1st June 2022

Volunteers Week runs from the 1st-7th June and is an opportunity to celebrate the commitment, skills and care that our volunteers have shown over the past year, and beyond, to support NHS services. 

Over the past 12 months the NHS workforce has contended with the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and growing pressure on NHS services. Volunteers have played a vital role ensuring the NHS can continue to deliver the best possible care to patients and service users. 

We hear from eight volunteers across NW London about their motivations for volunteering, their experiences, and what they’ve learnt. 

What made you decide to become an NHS volunteer?

There are many reasons why people decide to volunteer for the NHS. Some simply wanted to help the NHS through a challenging time during COVID – others joined recently, during the recovery phase.

giorgia volunteer.jpgGiorgia [pictured right], a volunteer for the Check in and Chat service at Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust, describes how important it felt to volunteer when the NHS was under such extreme pressure during lockdown, saying: “Being a volunteer meant that I was offering something that is not required nor an obligation. 2020 was undoubtedly a tough year for us all, but I think volunteering has helped me realise how badly some people have been affected.”

paul volunteer.PNGPaul [pictured left], a volunteer driver from Pembridge Hospice, with past experience as a volunteer, mirrors this, saying, “I am working to support people who are really in need, and it has opened my eyes to realise how much of a difference I am making to their lives.”


Champa [pictured right], who volunteers at the busy outpatientchampa volunteer.png department at Central Middlesex Hospital, finds her professional experience and skills are proving invaluable in such a fast-paced environment – and hopes they’ll have a long term benefit. “I felt my customer service experience and handling of difficult situations will enable me to improve and develop a good customer experience for patients.” 

Lynn volunteer.PNG


Lynn [pictured left], a volunteer supporting stroke survivors at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, wants her experiences as a service user to help others. Six months after being discharged as a stroke patient, she has thrived as a volunteer, encouraging stroke patients through their recovery.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?

diendra volunteer.jpgDiendra [pictured right], a volunteer in the outpatient department at Northwick Park Hospital, shares the fulfilling experience of improving access to services for those who don’t have English as their first language: “While doing this role I found out that many people were not fluent in English and were unable to use the self-check in kiosks, so I was happy to assist and direct them to appointments.”

Carol, an appointment reminder volunteer at Hillingdon hospital, shared how motivating it is to see the tangible impact of her support, saying: “I have been advised that the number of ‘DNAs’ (did not attend’ an appointment) has dropped a lot, especially in Dermatology” and went on to explain the value of this support among staff: “All the units I have worked in have been grateful for the help they have been given and I have always been made to feel welcome.”

Jagdish, an RVS volunteer at Ealing Mass Vaccination Centre reflects that “every day differs at the vaccination centres and unexpected situations can arise, so it’s never a dull moment!”.

Matt, a Check in and Chat service volunteer, feels he’s benefited from the weekly chats just as much as the service users, saying, “After that first call I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the afternoon.”


What would you say to somebody who wants to volunteer?

Volunteering is something that’s open to everybody, irrespective of age, ethnicity and gender. There are such a wide range of opportunities available in the NHS that you’re sure to find a role that can utilise your qualities and skills.

As Giorgia says, “It does not matter if you come with no experience; be enthusiastic, take part, do as much as you can and be inquisitive.”

Champa highlights the impact you can have at a local level, saying: “Volunteering is a great chance to share your skills and knowledge - and to support your local community in a large organisation like the NHS.” 

Equally Diendra encourages people to jump at the opportunity to volunteer, as “you will get a sense of fulfilment and it may also open doors for future opportunities”. Indeed, many of the volunteers we spoke to have now taken on job roles where they volunteered, demonstrating the opportunities that volunteering can open up. 


We want to say a huge thank you to all our incredible volunteers for their ongoing support. We hope their amazing work will inspire others to explore volunteer opportunities and be a vital part of our NHS’s future. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact our north west London trusts to find out about opportunities: