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Community healthcare heroes who are volunteering over Christmas period

PUBLISHED: 05:00 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 06:55 05 December 2018

Nikki Kerdegari, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

Nikki Kerdegari, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

NCHC

Dedicated volunteers will be choosing to spend their festive period working at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCHC) to help put a smile on patients’ faces.

Sue Cody, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHCSue Cody, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

With the start of advent coinciding with International Volunteers Day, NCHC is raising awareness of the dedicated service and invaluable work volunteers do, particularly at this time of year.

As a token of thanks, volunteers working at Priscilla Bacon Lodge during the festive period will be treated to a special early Christmas lunch this week.

NCHC has over 200 volunteers who contribute on average 300 hours of support per week to patients, staff and visitors.

Nikki Kerdegari, ward support volunteer at Caroline House, is just one of the many volunteers who will be working over the festive period. She said: “My main role as a volunteer is to support patients in whatever way I can; whether that be playing board games or just being someone they can talk to who isn’t involved in their treatment.

Sue Bland, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHCSue Bland, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

“Over the festive season, feelings of loneliness or isolation can be even more prevalent so I think my role as a volunteer is particularly important during this time of year.”

Sue Cody, ward support volunteer at North Walsham hospital, said: “I like to help out wherever I can. As I am new to the area, I appreciate meeting new people through volunteering. I will be coming in over the holiday period as I feel sorry for people who are in hospital over the Christmas period.”

Sue Bland, a volunteer who greets patients at Aylsham health centre as they arrive for their appointments, reassuring them that they are in the right place, and chatting to them while they wait for their appointment, said: “I am happy to come and support the clinics and patients who have to come in over the Christmas period.”

While Amy Laskey, ward volunteer at Priscilla Bacon lodge, said: “I really enjoy helping to make a difference, being part of the team and enhancing the fantastic care patients and relatives receive at Priscilla Bacon Lodge. I love cheering them up and being able to have a laugh and joke with them when they are going through a difficult time. I will be helping to serve lunches on Christmas day which will make my Christmas very special.”

Amy Laskey, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHCAmy Laskey, volunteer at NCHC. Photo: NCHC

Keith Frior, who is also a meet and greet volunteer at Aylsham health centre, added: “As an ex-shopkeeper, I missed the personal contact with the public when I retired. My volunteering enables me to continue to meet people and provide a service to the community, especially over the holiday period, when the clinics are still going.”

Margaret Ayres, ward volunteer at Priscilla Bacon Lodge, enjoyed working over Christmas as a nurse and said: “I will be volunteering on Christmas Day, making beds with the nurses, helping to give out the patients’ gifts from the Priscilla Bacon Support group charity, spending time with patients and chatting to relatives. I will then go home to further enjoy the rest of the day with my husband and family.”

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at NCHC email volunteering@nchc.nhs.uk or call 01603 272336

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