With the Pears Fund, we support the fantastic youth volunteering summer programme at UCLH, which has just completed its third year.
The project, run by the UCLH volunteering service, specifically engages young people with the aims of
This summer, 23 young people aged 16 and 17 got involved. All were local with eight living in Camden and four being born at UCLH!
Together the team gave an amazing 1600 hours of time, helping patients at least 12,000 times. Young volunteers are an integral part of the team at UCLH and during the first wave of the Coviid-19 pandemic were responsible for 25% of all volunteer hours given. Volunteers helped across our different sites in different roles which were designed to give them experience of different parts of the hospitals. This included being Rapid Response Volunteers on the wards and a variety of outpatient areas.
Volunteering has proven a great way for the participants to feel more connected to and part of their community. When asked how connected they feel to the community participants scored themselves and average of 5.2/10 at the start of the programme, but this rose to 9.3 at the end.
This is the third year for the project and many alumni of the scheme have been inspired by their time at UCLH and been able to use their experience to start careers in the NHS. Several have secured medical school places and are thinking about choosing caring careers.
Hear from some of the volunteers:
"I was born in the Elizabeth Garret Anderson wing at UCLH, and wanted to give back to the hospital to thank them for the care I was provided with. I also live in Camden so wanted to help my community as much as I could. Volunteering at this hospital was fantastic, especially during the pandemic; from meeting amazingly hardworking staff, to lovely patients, it truly was an experience to remember. I was able to express my gratitude to the hospital by dedicating time to increasing patient satisfaction and helping reduce patient anxiety and boredom." Sefora, 17
"I really did enjoy volunteering at UCLH, I made some great friends, I gained some important skills and I enjoyed talking and helping out with all the patients. I would definitely volunteer again! I will be going to university this September and hopefully studying Biomedical Engineering. Seeing the new proton beam therapy building under construction and doing further research solidified my decision that studying Biomedical Engineering is right for me, and I can still actively do something to help out others that need it .Volunteering at UCLH was one of the best things I did and I hope to find similar opportunities in the future." Voke,18, Super Saturday volunteer
"Working in the hospital was a magnificent experience and I would definitely do it again without a doubt. The fact the staff were still able to continue to have such a positive attitude was amazing. I am pleased I was able to help my local community during COVID. I felt as though it was a very important time for me to put my volunteering skills to use during this time because the NHS needed the community's support to help the hospital during these difficult times. This experience has helped me see how working in a hospital is like and what you’re expected to do when it came to certain patients or ward. It has helped me realise that I definitely do want to become a paediatric nurse". Mary, 17