Ben found his calling through volunteering

4th April 2019

Nursing might not be the first career choice for former maths student Ben Lightning, but after two years volunteering at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, he knew it was the right thing to do. Karen Bush, Voluntary Services Manager, tells us more.

The soon-to-be student nurse had a few rocky years before he volunteered for the hospital. Serious health problems meant that he couldn’t continue his full-time job, but Ben was determined to keep going so he could make a difference to people’s lives. He contacted the Voluntary Services Department at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital two years ago to ask about volunteering opportunities. And he hasn’t looked back.

Soon the 28-year-old was a familiar face on the Day Unit and in the Haematology Department. He enjoyed spending time with patients, making them tea and having a chat with them. He ensured patients were comfortable and relaxed. One family member said:

“I wanted to express my thanks to Ben. I was at the hospital with my elderly father who was having a bone marrow biopsy. My dad had been nervous in the last few days but Ben was so kind and attentive that it made my father relax. I must admit that I felt better too. It was so nice and reassuring to be greeted so warmly and looked after by Ben. It was a joy to watch him actively seeking to help everyone he encountered, both patients and his colleagues alike.

He is a credit to the volunteer service and a great asset to the hospital and I really wanted to let him know just how grateful I am to him. I wish him the very best for his future and am sure that such a confident, pleasant, and caring man certainly has a bright time ahead of him. I just know that Ben will make an amazing and compassionate nurse – all nurtured by his volunteering experience.”

So what motivated Ben to volunteer? He told us:

“Whatever else is going on in the world, it’s knowing that my one small action will make someone’s life better. This is what ‘gets me up’, knowing that whatever I am doing, someone’s life will be improved by my actions and I guess that’s why I want to become a nurse now.”

Ben is so kind and compassionate, empathetic and caring.  We couldn’t have been more thrilled when he told us that he was applying to University to do a degree in Nursing. He will be an amazing nurse!


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