Meet our volunteers

Ella Brickley

The experience I gained as a volunteer at Chelsea and Westminster was invaluable because it enabled me to give informed and reflective responses at all my medical school interviews and secure an offer!

The large variety of work that I undertook was particularly useful and the level of involvement that I experienced was far greater than would have been possible during a work experience placement which is typically only a week. One of the many highlights has been the extra training that is available to volunteers—like feeding training and stroke awareness—which enabled me to do more to help patients.

I genuinely believe that volunteering has increased my confidence and resolve to pursue a career in healthcare. Most importantly, this is an experience that I really enjoy and I am very grateful to have met so many wonderful people along the way!

Nargas Hashem

Narges began her journey with us as a volunteer—and is now a part of our Phlebotomy team. Watch her story to see how she is determined to develop.

Margaret Hendrick

Volunteering in a hospital setting was an easy decision for me. My mother was a midwife so from an early age I grew up with positive stories of the NHS and its work. As a patient of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, I have had excellent care. I wanted to give back in some way and volunteering offered this opportunity.

I had no pre-conceived ideas about what exactly I would do other than being a friendly face, chatting and assisting older patients. I assumed that in my volunteer role, I would be the one giving but I could not have been more wrong. I am amazed how quickly a professional patient/volunteer rapport becomes established as patients share their own life stories, personal experience, hopes and fears. It provides valuable educational insights into patients as well as enjoyable chats.

Staff on the ward and the volunteer co-ordinators have all been very supportive and friendly. Personal observations and chats with patients have enabled me to identify additional ways to alleviate boredom have been welcomed. My suggestions have been valued allowing me to contribute in ways I could not have imagined.

Carly Linder

I began volunteering at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in late 2018, shortly after relocating to London from Philadelphia, USA for my spouse's work. More than anything, I felt that engaging with the local hospital would be a great way to gain an understanding and perspective of my new community's strengths and where I could contribute to what might benefit from further support.

Borrowing from Mark Twain, I feel that one of the best ways to cheer myself up is to try cheering someone else up. Jump in with an open mind and heart and you will gain more than you might feel you are even giving. It's selfish really!

I am very friendly and tend to smile a lot. Particularly at strangers. As this is not really an acceptable behaviour out on the streets of London, learning that my smile can contribution something positive to someone's day or help an individual feel more at ease within the maze that the hospital can seem like, I feel very proud of my smile and the various methods in which I can serve the staff and patrons as a Responder Volunteer. 

As a Responder Volunteer, I very much enjoy that no two days are entirely alike. I have been able to engage within various wards and departments and support individual teams, serve specialised clinics, and engage patrons that are just visiting or might be staying for a while. Becoming familiar to hospital staff, who then feel confident asking for my support, is also one of my favourite parts of being a committed volunteer.

Fatema Nargis

As a young volunteer, I have experienced and learned many things in hospital. I am proud to work with others as a team to make a meaningful contribution to the hospital.

As a responder, I welcomed patients, providing directions and helping in other ways. I also supported with pharmacy runs from the inpatient pharmacy to the wards. I helped to distribute food to staff, ensuring their wellbeing.

And as a ward helper, I distributed food to patients. Moreover, I talked to patients during their mealtimes and afterwards to encourage them to eat. Through these experiences, I have improved my communication skills, time management, patience and teamwork.

I am really grateful for this opportunity because these skills will help me day-to-day in my life. I am grateful as it has given me a rewarding insight into the medical field and how the multidisciplinary team work together to improve patient care.

swagdaddyabs George Vasilopoulos