As part of second year, we are given 4 weeks to complete 150 hours of community volunteering. We have to set this up ourselves and pick where ever we wish to work as long as it’s not within the normal healthcare setting where we can have a placement. So places like; various charities and organisations , fire service or ambulance etc.
From 24th August 2018 – 24th September 2018: I have planned a few things across this to really make the most of my few weeks out in the community setting, something I’m very passionate about. I have arranged the following:
- Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell (BUDs) – who provide activity sessions out in community centres for those people who have dementia. Which gives them a sense of belonging and more quality of life.
- Suited for Success – A charity who provides interview clothes, coaching and mentoring to people who are getting their lives back together (homeless, people from prison etc). I’m awaiting an email back to schedule a couple of days in.
- Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group – Safeguarding team. I’ll be attending here for a day this week to see what they do here. I’m really excited about this! Another area I’m passionate about it safeguarding the public.
- BCU – Buddy Mentoring Scheme – I will be assigned to support a new international student. I will be helping them settle into their new life and hopefully show them a great time!
So here is an update of the past week and what I’ve been up to.
I had a wonderful first day with the Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell (BUDS) scheme last Friday. It was very weird to be sat doing activities with people in my care! Usually I am so used to running around between each patient, working up a sweat haha. But to be able to have the time to sit and talk to someone is the most amazing feeling. To know, that you’re making a difference in that moment. Giving someone a sense of belonging and feeling valued. To have lunch together! Yes lunch! We all sat at the table eating together, staff included. How amazing is that? Something unheard of in most wards and healthcare settings. It was lovely. As a staff member / volunteer you certainly feel valued here. Isn’t it funny (not really comedy funny, maybe odd is the right word) how the slightest thing can make a person feel so valued. Like sitting and having lunch with the people under your care (I don’t like the term service users, they aren’t patients either so today they are people).
A huge thank you to the BUDS team for fitting me into their schedule and if you are looking for somewhere to volunteer please check them out and go! It’s incredible. The nicest staff, the nicest setting and the nicest people.
I have done a whole Vlog on my experience here, if you have the time go and check it out. I’ve also included what I do on my bank shifts as a healthcare assistant working in sexual health.