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Assistant Director of Human Resources volunteers at Ipswich Hospital

Jac Thorold, Assistant Director of Human Resources at ECFRS, is giving her time as a ward assistant at Ipswich Hospital.

Jac’s mother-in-law and father-in-law were admitted to the hospital over the Christmas period and sadly passed away. She says volunteering is a great way to thank NHS colleagues for the care they provided to them both during their time in hospital.

She said: “I started volunteering in an admin role at the hospital before I joined our Service in April last year.

“Our Service has been committed to supporting our NHS partners during the pandemic, so when the hospital got in touch with me I was ready to help.

“Losing my in-laws has obviously had a real impact on our family, so it’s nice to be able to give something back and say thank you to the hospital.” 

Jac volunteers every Monday evening as a ward assistant, spending time with patients and taking pressure off the medical staff. She says spending time with vulnerable, elderly patients is so important, particularly while visiting restrictions are still in place.

She said: “It’s great to provide some companionship to people whose families haven’t been allowed in.

“Just something fun and simple like doing a crossword or reading the paper with a patient cheers them up – that one-to-one time is so important.

“I cared for my mother-in-law who had advanced vascular dementia, so you learn to adapt.

“But you don’t have to be experienced. I’m a complete novice when it comes to medicine, but I can listen well and talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

Jac is relishing being a volunteer and would recommend it to anyone who can spare the time.

She said: “I enjoy being in an unfamiliar environment and it’s the opposite of my job because I’m the one taking instructions from others.

“The feedback you get really is heart-warming. The nurses are so grateful of having an extra pair of hands so they can do their jobs and it’s lovely to know I can make the patients’ time in hospital a bit better.”

If you're interested in volunteering, you can visit the NHS volunteering site for information about the volunteering roles available: www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk

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