A day in the life of…Toni, a volunteer wayfinder
“I’ve been a volunteer at St George’s for nearly seven years.
I started soon after I retired from working in local government and for nearly all of that time I’ve been a wayfinder in Lanesborough Wing.
I usually stand near the lifts where there’s heavy footfall with many people not being sure where to go. It is rather a ‘crossroads’. Mainly they are outpatients but there are sometimes visitors to in-patients who don’t always know what wards to go to as well as new staff who need to collect their ID’s and don’t know the hospital well yet.
It’s wonderful to see new expectant mothers and fathers come in, as the Delivery Suite is on the first floor, and then visitors to see the new babies, who are greeted with congratulations
I know most directions off by heart, but I maintain and update an alphabetical ‘crib sheet’ anyway, and I’m always learning about new facilities or services at the trust. If I don’t know where something is, I check with my colleagues at reception and then update my crib sheet.
Sometimes other help is needed, like accompanying elderly patients, and you get a ‘sixth sense’ for this. Much of my work is proactive, as I don’t have a desk, and only a minority of ‘the temporarily lost’ actually approach me, so I have to approach them if they look unsure – and that means I have to keep my eyes skinned every minute of my shift!
I get a lot of ‘thank yous’. We all like to be appreciated, so the work is quite addictive! And sometimes it’s ‘What part of Ireland are you from?’
No two days are the same and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
My colleagues are lovely too.”
To find out more about our current opportunities and to apply you can visit the volunteering page on the Trust’s website www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/work-with-us/volunteering/.
If you would like any other information please contact our Voluntary Services Manager, Zoe Holmes