Spotlight on our Emergency Department volunteers

For many, the journey into volunteering begins with a simple realisation of the profound impact it can have on communities and individuals alike.

Here at NNUH we have almost 500 volunteers, and with up to 400 admissions a day to the emergency department, many lend their hand helping out with the day to day tasks of keeping our busiest departments flowing smoothly.

Debbie, Emergency Department volunteer, found herself drawn to the world of volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic. She said: “I saw the immense strain on essential services, I felt compelled to lend a helping hand, despite never considering it before I feel a sense of purpose in my volunteer work.”

Similarly, Ben, who seeks a career in medicine, seamlessly transitioned into volunteering within hospital settings. “I feel like I am gaining so much experience for my career path while providing much-needed support at the patients and their families” said Ben, Emergency department Volunteer. All of the staff are so helpful and willing to answer any questions I have. I really feel like I am part of the team.”

Maria and Colin, chose to volunteer to give back to the NHS. “When lending a helping hand with tasks such as trolley hunting and organising medical devices, everyone is always so appreciative of the work we do. I volunteer for three hours a week, so the flexible schedule suits my needs perfectly,” said Colin.

“Despite the high-intensity nature of our work, it’s nice knowing that we are part of a supportive community providing care to those who need it. Hardly a shift goes by where people don’t say thank you.”

Victoria Warren-Potter, Emergency Department Co-ordinator, said: “One of the most compelling aspects of volunteering in an Emergency Department is the diversity of opportunities available to make a meaningful impact. Whether it’s greeting and directing visitors, serving refreshments on the department, or simply engaging in friendly conversation with patients, there’s a role suited to every individual’s interest and ability. No contribution is too small when it comes to spreading kindness and compassion.”

Volunteers at NNUH play a crucial role in accompanying patients throughout their journey within the Emergency Department, ensuring they feel supported and reassured every step of the way. No two days are ever the same in the ED and whether it’s guiding them to different areas, offering a listening ear, or simply providing companionship during wait times, our team of volunteers strive to make each patient’s experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.

• If you would like to volunteer, visit

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