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Dining Buddies: A Volunteer’s Story

My experience of being a Dining Buddy on a Male Dementia Ward …

“It has surprised me that even though there are sad situations on the ward, they have so much laughter, the men have a wicked sense of humour and the staff are always laughing.  I suppose if you didn’t you would cry but it makes it a very happy environment to be in.

When I first started there were three G’s on the ward so they all had nicknames, one being Gorgeous G, who then left the ward.  A month later Gorgeous G was back and as soon as he saw me he came straight to me to give me the biggest hug.  He had deteriorated but I was happy he had come back as we look after him.

I know we are guinea pigs and it is a pilot, personally it works really well and if it could be spread out everyone would get the benefits. It would be appropriate for retired people as they are a similar age to the clients and it’s a two way thing as I have found out.

Although the Dining Buddies is currently a pilot, it works very well and should be moved to other wards.”

Dining Buddies Volunteer

Quid Squad – Volunteer Story

I have been volunteering for the past 18 months for the Quit Squad.

I really enjoy volunteering here and the staff are great.  My mentor Michelle Moore is very approachable and friendly, and makes me feel comfortable and part of the team.

I look forward to meeting and greeting the clients and building a rapport with them.  If for any reason  I miss a session, the clients actually ask about me or mention it to me where I’ve been. This makes me feel wanting to come back.

I am a full time mother and it’s good to be in a different atmosphere and to get away from the usual chores.

I hope to continue volunteering for the Quit Squad

hopefully for a long time.

Quid Squad Volunteer

Grow Your own Volunteer project

The project provides an outdoor area where people who use services and staff alike can go to get away from the hustle and  bustle of the main area and get  involved with activities such as  planting, looking after hens or simply taking some time out in the tranquillity garden. The project grows its own herbs and vegetables which are then sent to the kitchen at Guild Lodge for use in meals across the hospital as well as sent to the wards where people can use the produce to prepare their own meals.

I was having a bad patch and developed depression, through the ‘Grow your Own’ and seeing the service users and how they manage their daily life with mental health has helped coach and given me an understanding of mental health and volunteering has helped me tremendously in my steps to recovery.  I like the area because it is therapeutic, the wildlife, the flowers and the spiritual wellbeing of the area and everyone takes part equally.”

Grow your own Volunteer