Between the 8th and 14th February 2021, we are celebrating Student Volunteering Week and the wonderful students who volunteer at St Wilfrid’s. In this blog post, we speak to Aida Parvaneh, an A Level student who has been volunteering as a Host on our Inpatient Unit since June 2020. 

After a friend had told her about the hospice and suggested that she volunteered, Aida had originally set out to take part in our Young Clinical Volunteers programme – a six month volunteering programme aimed at 16 to 23-year-olds with an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare. Like many of our plans last year, however, the programme was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘It was a shame that the YCV programme was cancelled,’ said Aida. ‘I then made the decision to apply for the Host role instead because I live alone and wanted something to keep me busy and give me some social interaction during the pandemic.’

So, what does the Host role involve?

‘It mostly involves taking patients' food orders, taking them to the kitchen and then delivering their food to them when it’s ready, but it’s also about talking to the patients, seeing how they are and if they need anything.

‘It’s nice because you get to know them and strike a friendship with them. Then, each time you go in you just continue from where you left off. It’s changed my perspective of a hospice completely.’

For students, volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience in areas that you may like to pursue as a career. Volunteering at the hospice particularly, Aida says ‘is a good experience because it’s something different to what you usually see or talk about every day.

‘It’s taught me a lot, including about communication because you talk to lots of different people, all of different ages, who you may not usually speak to at a young age.’ 

Finally, we asked Aida if she has any words of advice for people her age, who may be considering volunteering.

‘It’s good if you don’t know what you want to do,’ she said. ‘I don’t think people should judge it; try to be open minded and give it a go.’

If you would like to volunteer for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, please contact our Voluntary Services team via email at: [email protected]