Publish date: 12 February 2024

Paige Furlan student volunteer.jpg

This Student Volunteering Week we will recognise the contributions of our student volunteers and the difference they make. To mark the week Head of Volunteering Rashpal Saini said: 

“We are celebrating national Student Volunteering Week by spotlighting some of the 39% of our volunteering people, who are also students. We are proud to see our volunteers stepping forward with the support of our college and university partnerships, helping students to try something new, build skills, confidence and an understanding of the NHS and make a difference to outstanding patient care locally. Thank you for all you do." 

Meet Paige Furlan, Liaison Psychiatry patient feedback volunteer. To mark Student Volunteering Week, we asked her to share in her own words how volunteering at the Trust has helped her as a student.

Hello, my name is Paige and a BSc Psychology Student and a Liaison Psychiatry patient feedback volunteer with the West London NHS Trust. My role involves collaboratively working with the liaison psychiatry hospital team of professionals to collate and document feedback on patient care experiences. By doing this we ensure their voices are heard and concerns addressed. Thus helping to contribute to the enhancement and continuous improvement of patient psychiatry and the experience of mental health care in the NHS. 

How has volunteering helped you as a person?

Volunteering in the NHS has been richly rewarding for me as it solidified my decision to focus on the clinical pathway of being a psychological professional.

The training I received even as a volunteer has been extensive and shows how seriously the NHS takes its commitment to its staff and patients. In addition to gaining valuable practical hands-on experience in a healthcare setting, the exposure to so many patients with diverse mental health and psychiatric challenges has deepened my sense of compassion and empathy, and I have found it has also enhanced my communication and interpersonal skills.

How did you come across volunteering?

I learned about the role online, either the NHS Jobs or NHS volunteering site. I was very excited when I saw the role and I decided to put forward my application. 

What advice would you give someone considering volunteering as a student?

I would recommend it!  Volunteering can equip you with skills and experience that can aid your future career, and possibly open doors to mentorship opportunities, internships, and job prospects. Being able to contribute meaningfully and make a positive impact to the lives of other people can be incredibly fulfilling, and gives you a sense of purpose and social responsibility.

If Paige’s story has sparked an interest in you to volunteer or you know family member, friend or colleague that may be interested please click here