Katherine is consistently above and beyond

29th October 2021


Katherine Healey initially joined South Warwickshire Foundation Trust as a volunteer at Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital in October 2019. It quickly became apparent that they had a real superstar on their hands. Leamington Hospital comprises the Trust’s Stroke Rehabilitation Ward and the Central England Rehabilitation Unit and is for patients recovering from complex acquired brain injury. Patients can be staying for six to eight months, so there is time to develop a real bond. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer here.

Volunteers need compassion, empathy, patience and resilience. Not only is Katherine a full-time student studying Psychology at Coventry University but she is also registered blind. To navigate the complex public transport system requires a medal in itself. She started initially by supporting the patient movement group on Saturday mornings. She now helps with Movie Group and Gardening Group, so she is very versatile. Katherine quickly progressed to being able to support the rehabilitation patients on a one-to-one basis, which is a very emotionally intense activity. She can be relied upon to be mature, confidential and reliable. Her degree has helped immensely and she has built excellent relationships with all of the staff. The patients love her. Katherine always takes time to really get to know a person. The volunteering team provide feedback to the multi-disciplinary team following patient visits and Katherine’s reports are of an excellent standard. This has led to her taking on some admin tasks in the Volunteer Hub, being consulted on changes and acting as a valued proof-reader. Truly multi-skilled.

Katherine has a keen eye for detail and has provided valuable feedback on improvements that the team can make for their patients. Covid meant a lot of changes. Katherine rapidly adapted to this and continued to volunteer throughout Covid, wearing full PPE. One of a very small number of volunteers to do so. She took on the role of dining companion and supported lonely patients at lunchtimes. Brain injury patients frequently suffer from memory loss and she was consistently kind and compassionate when it came to explaining why their families couldn’t visit. All of this whilst studying. Katherine continues to volunteer to this day commuting from Birmingham. She also has a part-time carer’s job as well as her studies. She is well respected and liked by all she meets.

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