My name is Shathuja. I have been volunteering as a mealtime assistant in Dalby ward for the past 6 months. This role provides me with the opportunity to interact with patients and help feed those who are unable to feed themselves.

I start my shift at 8.00am when I go around the ward with the ward hostess to ask patients what they want for breakfast. I help the hostesses prepare teas and coffees and serve the breakfast to the patients. If the patients are capable of feeding themselves, I ensure that they are sitting in a comfortable position to eat, and make sure their bedside table and their hands are clean before I move on to the next patient. If someone is unable to feed themselves, then I stay and help the patients to eat as much as possible. Before leaving, I report to the healthcare assistant or nurse about the patient’s food intake.

Since the ward is for elderly patients, they really appreciate the company of a non-healthcare professional. Most of the patients often feel lonely and receive fewer visitors, so just having someone to talk to even if for a short period of time makes a real difference in the way that they feel. In my experience they treat you as a family member and share stories about their life which can be very inspirational at times and makes you want to appreciate life even more.

Volunteering in Dalby ward has made me more aware that making someone feel happy and cheerful is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling feeling, and it is also a wonderful way to start off everyone’s day, including my own.

To find out more about our current opportunities and to apply you can visit the volunteering page on the Trust’s website

If you would like any other information please contact our Voluntary Services Manager, Zoe Holmes