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The benefits of working as a Volunteer

Volunteer Ellie Pottinger

Ellie Pottinger has lived in Bodiam, East Sussex for the past 20 years, having spent 10 years as a Police Officer, 12 years as Loss Prevention Manager for a major retailer and some other management roles in between.

Ellie said: “After such a busy life, retirement could have proved to be quite a boring existence, but Ellie’s volunteering has helped her enormously and ensures that she’s still enjoying getting out and meeting people and at the same time providing valuable and worthwhile service to the local community.”

Ellie has been volunteering at Benenden Hospital for just over a year. She joined just after lockdown at a time when the pandemic had hit the country.

Here she tells us about her experience of being a volunteer.

How did you find out about volunteering at our hospital?

I had been looking for something to do in my spare time, and I was aware about the volunteering scheme. I decided to call up and find out a bit more about it, and shortly after I was asked to come in for an interview.

What inspired you to volunteer at our hospital?

After retiring, I had been looking for something to do and working at a hospital was something that just felt right. It was also during Covid-19 that I saw there was a need that help could be given.

I was also used to volunteering at the NHS, so this was a natural progression for me to volunteer at another hospital.

What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?

The most rewarding part of volunteering for me is the reaction that I get from the patients. They are always grateful that there is someone available to help them.

What does being a volunteer at Benenden Hospital entail?

My role as a volunteer involves meeting and greeting all patients on arrival. This is a very rewarding part of my role. Usually when patients arrive at the hospital, they can be anxious or nervous, and I like knowing that I am able to put them at ease on arrival. Find out more about being admitted to Benenden Hospital here.

During COVID-19, my role was to take their temperature on arrival, making sure that all social distancing and COVID-19 measures were maintained. It was also my job to make sure that patients were the only ones to enter the hospital, as during times of COVID-19 patients weren’t allowed to bring a chaperon with them.

Why would you recommend volunteering at Benenden Hospital?

I would recommend volunteering at Benenden Hospital because you get to meet different people from all walks of life every day and you also get to do something worthwhile, and you get to feel valued.

Benenden Hospital is a lovely environment to work in and all the staff really appreciate what you do. The management are very supportive of us, the volunteers.

If you would like more information on becoming a volunteer, please visit our volunteering page.

Published on 13 September 2022