Day 5 – Lesley Gaish

What do you do for the Trust?

I’m the volunteering coordinator, working within the fundraising and volunteering team.

Although volunteers have been an integral part of hospital life for many years, in 2017 we have launched our new volunteer brand and established volunteers on our wards too. Many of you will have seen these lovely people popping up all over in their distinctive purple polo shirts bearing the ‘Helping Hands’ volunteer brand.

To find out more about volunteering at NDHT, call me on 01271 313933 or email

Why did you join the Trust?

rejoined the Trust after spending many years away from the NHS as a primary school teacher because … well, because it was just like coming home really!  It’s a great place to be!

What makes you proud of your job?

Each and every one of our amazing volunteers! They do an absolutely fantastic job, really helping to put the icing on the wonderful cake that is the NHS. They each bring something very special to our hospital and make such a difference to our patients. I’m proud to be part of their journey from the moment they first make contact through to seeing them as confident, fully-fledged ‘Helping Hands’ volunteers, supporting staff, patients, families and friends across the hospital. I’m super proud of them all.

What is your highlight of 2017?

I’m not sure there’s been one particular highlight… I think it’s more important to find one highlight from every single day if we possibly can!

What do you like the most about living in the South West?

I love that we have time, space and freedom … to roam on vast and desolate moors, to take long walks on windswept, deserted beaches and coastlines, to breathe in the clear fresh air and take in the stunning views! We’re so lucky!

Favourite thing about the festive season?

I’m a real last minute person at Christmas and the run up is always completely manic, so that’s not my favourite bit at all.  But I absolutely love the warmth and togetherness of Christmas, the opportunity to snuggle up with my wonderful family, with the Christmas tree lights twinkling and lots of tasty treats to tuck into … perfection!

Favourite book/film?

Do you know, I don’t honestly have an absolute favourite of either. I’ve got a tiny Little Book of Calm that my beautiful mum gave me years and years ago and it always puts things into perspective and makes me smile, so maybe that’s my favourite. My family would laugh and definitely say my favourite film is (cringe!) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – they tease me mercilessly because as the only female in my family I always used to plead to see it as a welcome relief from the usual Bourne Ultimatum-type films they all loved! Occasionally I won!

Will you be making a New Year’s resolution? If so, what?

I’m not a huge fan of this, but I think this year I am finally beginning to appreciate how important it is to make the most of each day we have here on this earth, so will be making a point of asking myself more often ‘what are you grateful for?’

Last updated: December 6, 2017