Hi I’m Paul.
Up until a year or so I’d worked in manufacturing for many years. I was placed onto furlough and looking for a way to support others with my time. When the call came from the NHS for volunteers to support during the first wave of the Covid pandemic I jumped at the opportunity.
From day one I have been made to feel incredibly welcome and part of an appreciated team. I have been supported and cared for within my role. It can be flexible to meet our own needs which only encourages us to do more. I found by being a volunteer I gave energy and enthusiasm because I was doing it through wanting to as opposed to being obligated in a paid job. Volunteering is actually really satisfying.
There are many roles available such as public facing, administrative and clerical. I volunteered to join as a ward-based helper. I’ve also helped many times in the Covid vaccination area, PALS (Patient Liaison), ‘Meet & Greet’ duties doing the simple yet essential need for visitors to the building to wear face coverings and sanitise hands. Once again, the gratitude from everyone in the areas I’ve supported gives an enormous sense of well-being.
On the strength of my voluntary work, I have applied for an apprenticeship with NDHT as a Health Care Assistant as well as being accepted into a nursing degree at Petroc College in Barnstaple.
Many paid career opportunities have opened up to me through my voluntary role but the sense of satisfaction and fulfilment, without a doubt, comes from donning, with pride, my purple Over & Above volunteers polo shirt and working for passion and being paid through satisfaction.