This week (10th - 16th February) is Student Volunteering Week. I caught up with two of our Young Clinical Volunteers (YCV’s), Najm and William, who told me all about their role, and what they've learnt since starting at the hospice. 

The YCV programme lasts for six months, that of which the boys have done four so far. Their role involves assisting health care assistants and nurses with the care of patients - something that has pleasantly surprised Najm, ‘I didn’t think we’d have as much hands on action, which for me I’ve really enjoyed, that’s what I wanted to do when I came here.’ It has also allowed them to meet new people and experience a completely different work space.

The role may be the same for them both, but the beauty of the programme means that they are both volunteering for different reasons. William wishes to go in to the Police after his studies, so a people facing role has provided him with good practise and the relevant skills for his aspirations. Meanwhile, Najm has always been interested in medicine, which he wishes to study at university. However, his time at the hospice has made him realise that he no longer wants to do sports medicine, and would like to go in to palliative medicine instead, ‘for me it's changed the course of my life in a way.'

Not only has the role changed Najm’s mind about the area of medicine he wants to study, but it has also changed both of their perspectives on the hospice. For Najm, ‘it has changed my perspective of how the hospice helps families as well as just patients,’ whilst for William, the main thing that stood out to him was the ‘different range of people that come here,’ for example, ‘learning about respite patients.’ Although both of the boys had connections with the hospice previous to being Young Clinical Volunteers, this is often the case for many people, which is why offering volunteering schemes such as this one is so important.

Here at the hospice we are always looking for volunteers, and we are always happy to help young people and students enhance their skills and develop their interests and careers. I asked them if they had any advice for young people like themselves, who aren’t sure whether to go in to volunteering.

‘When you first hear about it, it sounds quite daunting and you think why would I possibly want to put myself in that situation,’ said William, ‘but when you actually come here and you realise what the role entails, what kind of experiences you’ll be getting and how beneficial it is, I feel like as a person I’m more confident and have definitely gained a sense of empathy.’

Applications for our next group of Young Clinical Volunteers will be open from 17th February 2020, which you can find here. The deadline for this is the 6th April 2020

If you are interested in any other volunteering roles on our Volunteer Opportunity pages, please contact our Voluntary Services team by emailing [email protected] or phoning 01323 434200.