Young people told us that if they had to spend time in hospital, they wanted to be supported by people they could relate to. Best For You Volunteers take on a variety of roles – in a typical shift, they might support young people to use the Best For You app library, help them access activities, or provide a listening ear, for example.
Francesca Davis, Best For You Volunteer, spends a few hours each week supporting young people at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She kept a note of her experiences during one of her shifts to tell the world how volunteers are making a difference.
1pm I’ve just begun my shift! I start by seeing a teenage girl I regularly engage with. Today she doesn’t want to talk too much because she has a busy day ahead, but we managed to talk about our favourite foods (pizza and pasta)! I go to see if I can see any other patients, but they’re currently sleeping or eating lunch.
2pm Lunch for patients is over so I go to see another teenage girl. We decide to play a couple of card games – I learn the rules, although it still gets confusing at times. It’s a lot of fun. We also chat about our shared love for arts and crafts!
3pm Things have slowed down a bit, so I chat to some members of staff about the volunteering experience so far and how rewarding and fun it is to engage with patients and do activities with them to make them smile!
4 to 5pm I have long chat with another teenage girl before my shift ends. We talk about (and exchange photos of) our pet cats and laugh about the strange things our pets do! We then play a few card games – including a funny game where we have to slap our hands down as quickly as we can on matching cards and do actions for special cards. As you can imagine, it quickly becomes incredibly competitive!
5pm My shift has ended! It was a fun day and I’m looking forward to coming back next week 😊