Event for potential cancer centre volunteers - 30 July 2019

Event for potential cancer centre volunteers - 30 July 2019

190625 Sue Davenport Beacon Ward VolunteerAn event is being held at Musgrove Park Hospital to give potential new volunteers the chance to find out more about opportunities in the Beacon Centre.

The event will run on Tuesday, 30 July from 9am until 12 midday and will include presentations about volunteering in the centre. There will be the opportunity for mini interviews after the presentations

There are a host of volunteering roles supporting patients and staff in the cancer centre and the event will enable people considering volunteering to learn more about what they might do.

Volunteers help on the ward serving drinks and food to patients, supporting the outpatients team, facilitating patient experience groups and there are also headwear volunteers who help advise and provide stylish items for people who have been affected by hair loss as a result of their treatment.

Patient and Staff Experience Lead, Jo Wilson, said: “We value the support we receive from volunteers here in the Beacon Centre and have wide and varied roles available.

“Due to the nature of our service we need to make sure we are recruiting the right volunteers for these roles within the cancer centre and hope that by spending some time with people considering helping out we can find the right fit for everyone involved.

“We look forward to welcoming you on July 30, but even if you cannot join us at our event please do get in touch with us so that we can talk about how you might be able to help.”

To attend, for more information, or to register your interest in volunteering at the Beacon Centre contact 01823 344 241 or email


Case study

Sue Davenport has been volunteering on Beacon Ward for six-and-a-half years serving patients drinks and helping with the lunch trays.

“I take the trolley around to patients, serving them tea, coffee and juice,” Sue said.

“That usually takes about 40 minutes, and once I’ve finished, I do whatever needs to be done in the ward kitchen.”

Sue also takes the drinks trolley to patients on ward 9, before taking the lunch trays to Beacon Ward patients, clears the plates away afterwards and then rounds off her shift by doing a post-lunch round of teas and coffees.

“It’s a really nice job, because if you are going around with the tea trolley everyone is pleased to see you,” Sue said.

“We get trained as to what to say and how to communicate with patients and their families. It’s not about talking about yourself, that’s one thing they really drum into you when you are training.

“You have to be very aware that you are walking into a stranger’s bedroom, so I always introduce myself as ‘Sue the tea lady’.

“And the more you do it the more confident you become.”

Sue was inspired to become a volunteer when she moved to the area, and cited her mother as her inspiration.

“My mother volunteered with WRVS, Muscular Distrophy UK and other charities.”

“I recommend volunteering to anybody. It puts things into perspective.

“It’s just nice to chat to people, and we see such a variety of patients at various stages of their treatment. Their courage is a huge inspiration.”

And Sue has advice for anyone else thinking about becoming a volunteer at the Beacon Centre.

“Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, there’s a lot of washing up and minor stuff in the kitchen, we just muck in,” she said.

“If you are thinking about volunteering you have to make sure it’s a real commitment.

“Not every role suits every person, and if you are not happy doing what you are doing you might be   happier doing something else.”