Avani is an inspiring young volunteer!

29th October 2021


Avani Bhalla has been volunteering with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since December 2019. Just after she started with the Trust, the country went into full lockdown. She assisted with the donations that came into the organisation, working with her fellow volunteers to ensure ward staff had food and refreshments, as well as assisting with the daily queries coming into the volunteering hub.

She has also volunteered as a ward helper providing much needed befriending support to the patients and assisting the staff with non-clinical duties. A daughter of one of their patients wrote an emotional letter to Avani’s school, explaining how Avani had spent time helping her and her Mum whilst they were at the hospital to attend an appointment. The daughter felt the need to acknowledge how the time Avani had spent with her mum (who had sadly passed away) had left a lasting impression.

Avani has also volunteered as a phlebotomy buddy, assisting clinicians during lockdown when they were so busy. This year she has been part of the volunteering team that enabled them to deliver a successful vaccination programme at West Middlesex Hospital for over 16,000 staff from the Trust, as well as health and social care workers across Northwest London. She is also currently a Youth Support Mentor for youth volunteers.

As a Youth Support Mentor, she briefs and coaches Youth Pathway volunteers into different roles. Avani is also an extremely talented artist. Last year she sold her artwork to fundraise for the Trust's COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund which helped to support staff and patients during the pandemic. She donated a painting to the Trust earlier this year to be on display in the Education Centre. She is currently studying for A-Levels but continues to volunteer during school holidays. She hopes to become a doctor and so working in the Trust provides her with some experience of what hospital life is like. Avani is always polite, friendly and helpful. She is extremely mature for her age and it’s easy to forget that she is so young. She is a House Captain at her school and is a perfect role model for her peers. Avani always sets such a good example and I know that her positive outlook will take her far in life.

Avani was one of the finalists for the Helpforce Champions Awards 21, you can watch this video below to learn more about her.

Read more inspiring stories here.