Interview with Noreen, GOSH volunteer
This International Volunteer Day we speak to Noreen, who has been volunteering at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for five years!
Why did you decide to volunteer for GOSH?
GOSH saved me. I was in a difficult place in my life, and a friend suggested I do some volunteering. I already had a connection to GOSH as a family member had been treated here, and growing up I had considered working in a hospital.
Volunteering really helped me, allowed me to contribute to something bigger than myself, helping my self esteem and building myself back up. It was about giving back and making a difference, which is very fulfilling.
When did you start?
I started volunteering at GOSH five years ago but only started working with our international families in April. When I started volunteering in the International and Private Patient Service, I felt like I had found my place. I love it here, the staff and families are really caring and giving. It felt like I made a deep connection straight away.
What sort of volunteering do you do?
I mainly assist the Play Team. I play with the children, sing and chat with the mums and dads. I’m here to help make the families journey easier and assist the team. I really enjoy singing; when I visit patients, mums often ask me to sing the same songs as my last visit!
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I love waking up every Thursday and thinking ‘what can I do to make their day easier?’ I start my day with a morning meeting with Butterfly Ward Play Worker Claudia where we look at all the families who are on the ward and what I can do to help. It’s about helping the families and making them smile.
What advice to do you have for anyone considering volunteering?
You should volunteer for GOSH! I’m always telling my family to volunteer here. It’s so much more than just volunteering, it's being part of an amazing team. So much fun happens here; there are difference projects, celebrity visits…the whole experience is exceptional. Everyone should volunteer at least once in their life; it’s nourishing for the soul.