Primary school teacher Karen brings a smile to many patients’ faces
18th November 2020
Submitted by Lindsay Rutherford-Hoe, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
Karen Oliver’s commitment to putting a smile on every patient's face, whether it be front facing or behind the scenes, is something to share and celebrate!
Karen applied to volunteer through the Helpforce/Daily Mail campaign and since commencing in her role on Ward 26, her positive, caring nature has been an asset to both patients and staff. Organising her volunteer work around a day job as a primary school teacher, barely a week has gone by when Karen hasn’t been into the Trust.
Since the pandemic, Karen has been committed to volunteering at least twice a week on various wards to keep patients company through chat and activities and also providing support during mealtimes. This support has been greatly received by patients and staff, especially during restrictions to hospital visiting.
Karen has also been able to support patients to connect to family and friends using a generous donation of mobile phones from Virgin via Helpforce. By supporting the Trust in ‘virtual visits’ (this role involves supporting patients to connect with friends and family via an I-pad) her assistance with this has freed up the time of therapy staff on the ward so that they can continue to deliver care to our patients.
As well as Karen’s role on the ward, she was set the challenge to help organise and label all the wonderful donations of clothing, toiletries and pyjamas that the Trust have received to support our patients during this difficult time.
Nothing is ever too much trouble for Karen. She is a caring, compassionate volunteer who is committed to making a difference for our patients and staff.
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