Publish date: 1 June 2021
During last year’s Volunteers’ Week, we featured three volunteers and why they decided to volunteer for the Trust during the first Covid-19 wave. One year on, we catch up with one of them, Marcus, who is still volunteering at the Trust.
Marcus became a volunteer after losing his job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Joining the Trust gave him his first taste of NHS work, working with a number of teams in a short space of time. Now, a University student, he’s joined the Bank to continue working with the Trust on an ad hoc basis to fit around his studies.
“Before the pandemic, I had just finished an apprenticeship, but was let go as the pandemic took hold. After a year of things going well with promising prospects of future employment for it to come to a complete end was pretty devastating for me to say the least.”
“I wasn’t able to get a job anywhere for months, no matter how hard I tried, so I decided to volunteer with the NHS to give me a sense of purpose.”
“I got stuck in straight away, helping with packing and delivering food that had been donated to the Trust to staff across various sites. I also helped pack and deliver PPE to ensure staff at all sites had enough PPE to continue to work safely.”
I moved from this to working with the clinical governance team taking minutes for meetings. I also supported the finance department with collating and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of Trust staff, patients and service users.”
The Trust has been a great support, providing relevant training and experience to help me with my career.
“I think the experience of all the voluntary work I did was a real eye opener into this organisation and how things work in different areas. It helped me gain an insight into what to expect and the kind of environment I could be working in. I have already moved departments; I am now thinking about the next step to take but so far my journey has been invaluable.”
“I do have plans to stay in the NHS. I’d like to look into more apprenticeship opportunities in regards to mental health. I believe that mental health services as a whole is important and the type of work surrounding this area is really interesting to me. Being a volunteer initially was what made me come to this conclusion, especially during the height of the pandemic; I have come to realise now that I enjoy the idea of being able to help people as a career.”
Rashpal Saini, the Trust’s Volunteers Services Manager, says:
“I’d like to thank every single one of our volunteers, who’ve spent their free time working with us over the past year.”
If you want to know more about volunteering opportunities at the Trust, email Rashpal.Saini@westlondon.nhs.uk.