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Volunteering was a way into work at Southport and Formby District General Hospital

Volunteering was a way into work at Southport and Formby District General Hospital for healthcare assistants Donna Gaskell and Kerry Temple.

Donna had been a discharge support volunteer and loved the work so much that she applied to join the hospital’s Care Support Worker programme.

Her six-month paid placement on Ward 7B is ending and she has now accepted a full-time role.

Her fellow volunteer, Kerry Temple, was a dining companion until the Covid pandemic, helping patients at mealtimes when infection control restrictions meant she had to give up the role.

She applied for the programme too but, while waiting for her placement to start, applied for and successfully became a healthcare assistant in A&E.

Trust volunteer manager Irene Gardener said: “People volunteer for all sorts of reasons, including meeting new people and learning new skills.

“But it’s also a way to get experience that helps you into employment or move on to a job you really want.

“We have growing family of more than 80 volunteers here at Southport and Ormskirk. I’d love to hear from new people this Volunteers Week who want to make a real difference for our patients and give something back to their community.”

The Trust has a variety of volunteer roles at both hospitals but particularly needs volunteers on the wards, to be dining companions and to support the coffee shop at Ormskirk hospital.

Check out our volunteering opportunities here. You need to be at least 16 years-old to volunteer.

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