Publish date: 1 June 2020

People who’ve volunteered their time, skills and energy have been supporting teams across the Trust during the Covid-19 crisis.

Here are the stories of just three of our volunteers:

Marcus had just completed a year’s business administrator apprenticeship at JC Decaux and was working in their fleet department, when the pandemic hit.  Unfortunately, he was let go from his job at the end of March. Marcus wanted to make something positive happen out of the national crisis and, in particular, was keen to help people in his local community in West London.

This is Marcus’ first experience of volunteering, but this didn’t stop him from putting himself forward for a variety of volunteering roles.  He has picked, packed and delivered PPE equipment to sites across West London, as well opting for community response roles to support those who are shielding, and offering administrative and office support duties to different Trust sites.

Of his experience of volunteering, Marcus says:

“I would gladly continue to help as a volunteer for the Trust. This has opened my eyes to the benefits of working with the NHS and possibly seeking to work for the health service full time if I get the opportunity.

“I felt that helping others in need at this time was important and that my effort and help during this pandemic could help those who need my support most.”

Chris had spent 43 years working for HSBC in London, leading a national team, lending money to a wide range of UK companies, before retiring just over two years ago.

Chris is not new to volunteering having signed up for the Prince’s Trust and a local charity, Family and Friends, who provide befriending and mentoring support. He had also previously volunteered for the Samaritans.

Chris came in to help with sorting and packing PPE boxes and delivered them to sites across the Trust.

Speaking about his experience with the Trust, Chris said:

“I had finished my career while still in good health and with reasonable financial security.  I was therefore keen to try and give something back and support others. 

“The NHS is a unique institution which has proven itself time and again.  It has faced immense challenges over many years and will no doubt continue to do so.  It felt like a good use of my time to try and help in any way I could to take some of the pressure of the frontline workers.

“I would absolutely look at continuing with a volunteering role in the NHS, post pandemic.”

Andy had previously worked as an Operations and Resilience Manager for Heathrow Express, where a large part of his role involved disruption planning and management in the event of train or railway infrastructure failures.

He took redundancy at the end of last year.

Andy was keen to volunteer for the Trust having heard about available opportunities from a friend who works for Ealing Community Partners.  He already volunteers for the Scouts and the Felix Project, a charity which aims to reduce food waste and poverty.

With three others, Andy has been packing and delivering PPE to a health centre in Greenford.  He has also been recording and distributing scrubs at Lakeside Mental Health Unit.

Of his motivation for volunteering with the Trust Andy says:

“I wanted to help with the pandemic response in some way, and thought volunteering locally would be a great way to do this. The recruitment process was quick and the online training very interesting.”

Tips from our volunteers:

  • Just roll with it and remember that often the staff volunteers we are working with are not necessarily doing their day jobs and therefore they may not have done the work before – they may be learning too
  • Don’t hesitate and try it out for yourself. It feels good to know at the end of the day that your own help has a positive effect on other people’s lives
  • Volunteering is enjoyable so… enjoy it!