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 - Volunteer Q&A with Paul

Volunteer Q&A with WWTW Client Paul

We sat down with Paul to find out how he's been helping out in his local community during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The third sector relies on the generosity of volunteers to support their events and fundraising efforts. We sat down with WWTW Client, Paul, who, during the Covid-19 outbreak, volunteered his time at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust as a Porter.

1. Tell us a bit about your background and what you do:

I joined the RAF in his early 20’s becoming an armourer first off then on to bomb disposal later. In 23 years service, I completed operational tours of IRAQ, Kuwait and the Falkland Islands. It was my last tour of Iraq that led to me being diagnosed with PTSD and then being Medically Discharged 2019. Once I felt ready to work I realised I wanted a career to suit me, money was not that important, I wanted a good team around me doing a job I could really enjoy. I felt a role as a hospital Porter was the way to go. Due to Covid 19 finding work became difficult and I spotted the NHS were looking for volunteers in various departments of 2 local hospitals. I applied for a Porter role and after completing the application form and gaining an interview I was accepted as a voluntary porter for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

2. Why have you chosen to volunteer for NHS?

I wanted to help out the local community during Covid 19 and assist the NHS in a very troubled time. I felt volunteering in a role that I wanted to do as a paid job meant I had a chance to look at the job, see if it suited me and it also gave me something to put on my CV to show I have not just sat around waiting for work to come to me and gain some great experience in the role I wanted to do.

3. What does your job entail?

I volunteer for 3-8 hr shifts a week, mainly involving patient moves around hospital site, collect and dispose of clinical and domestic waste, collecting and delivering specimens to pathology and collecting linen to be laundered.

4. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work had?

It has shown me that team work is very important to me, it has built up my self-esteem, I feel as though I am doing a worthwhile job, I also enjoys the banter with other staff members and people attending the hospital. This has helped the hospital greatly as I am covering other porters who have had to isolate due to Covid 19 symptoms, easing the pressure on Bank and other staff.

5. If you were to recommend volunteering to someone else, what would you say?

Go for it, if you can spare a few hours a week it will benefit you and the community, it also looks really good on your CV to show commitment.

6. What was your favourite part of the volunteering experience?

Best part is being in a close-knit team, assisting patients, brightening their day by bringing a small amount of humour to the day, also his average steps are 20000, thus improving his fitness as well.

UPDATE: Since the publication of this Q&A, Paul has secured full employment as a porter at a hospital, he said:

"I wanted to tell you that I had my interview on Monday and today I was told that I was successful so will be a full-time porter at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Thank you so much for all your support and advice, you gave me the belief I needed to pursue the career I really wanted. You also made me feel valuable as a veteran when I felt discarded by the military so now I can move forward and remember my service time fondly."

Has Paul's story inspired you? Find out how you can get involved in volunteering here