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Queen’s youngest volunteer speaks out to urge others to help

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

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A YOUNG volunteer who gives up her time to help patients and families at Queen’s Hospital has spoken out to urge others to do the same.

At 18, Izzy Whiteley is the youngest person to volunteer at the Burton centre, but says she would love to see more people of her age getting involved.

The chance to learn new skills, gain job satisfaction and boost her future career chances are just some of the things which she has got out of her role.

“I would recommend it to anyone. It’s hugely rewarding to be part of a team that people rely on and to feel that you are making a difference,” she said.

Izzy’s desire to get involved at the hospital sprouted when she decided that she wanted to become a hospital radiographer.

It was when she considered her application to university that the idea came to her to get some experience by volunteering at Queen’s.

She has now been there for six months.

Izzy, who lives in Stapenhill, said: “I thought some voluntary experience at my local hospital would strengthen my CV and show my commitment when I went for university interviews, so I looked on the hospital website and found out how to apply.”

She had initially been looking for a clinical role, as that is where her interests lay, but when she told volunteer co-ordinator Marian Askew that she had experience of working in a cafe, she was offered a role in the coffee@queens coffee bar.

It fits easily around her A-level studies at Abbot Beyne School, and, already, her hard work has already paid off in her degree applications.

“As I’d hoped, it was a great talking point in my university interviews. Of course, once I’d completed my interviews, I could have stopped volunteering, but I enjoy it so much there is no way I am stopping until I go away to university this autumn.

“My job brings me into contact with all sorts of people – patients, visitors and staff. I’ve made some useful contacts and had offers of help and support regarding my chosen career from people who work in radiology here,” Izzy added.

She has had a number of offers for university places, but is hoping to complete her course in Liverpool.

Despite her initial reasons, Izzy said she had really grown to love her role in the cafe.

“My friends used to think it must be awkward or boring being the youngest of the volunteers, but age doesn’t come unto it. We’re all doing it for the same reason and we’re proud of the service we provide.

“The other volunteers are all lovely . A a volunteer, you know you don’t have to be there – you choose to be there. That actually makes it more enjoyable and rewarding. You are also reminded constantly how valuable you are, and that’s a very nice thing.”

Volunteer co-ordinator Marian Askew, who is in charge of those who give up their time to help across Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the trust was always on the lookout for new volunteers, adding that she would love to hear from other young people who could spare a few hours a week.

“We’re so proud of all our hospital volunteers, and grateful to them for giving up their valuable times to help in a range of roles,” she added.

Volunteers can get involved in roles across the hospital, from aiding the hospital chaplain to helping with the filing.

Anybody interested in getting involved should contact Marian Askew on 01283 511511 extension 2301 or at marian.askew@burtonft.nhs.uk

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