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Media Release

Date: 15 March 2022

Volunteering at the RUH inspires the next generation of nurses

The Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with Bath College to help health and social care students gain valuable experience through volunteering at the hospital.

Student volunteers are not involved with any medical care but provide a valuable support service to patients and staff, which includes light cleaning, serving drinks to patients and providing a listening ear.

Isabelle Redmond, 17, from Corsham is studying health and social care at Bath College and has been volunteering in the Emergency Department at the RUH since December 2021.

Isabelle said: "I'm really enjoying volunteering so far. It's been really rewarding to support patients by making drinks and just being there for people to chat to. It also feels good to know that you're doing your bit to support the busy Emergency Department team.

"I've been able to speak to a wide variety of staff from nurses to porters, which has helped me learn things about how hospitals work that you wouldn't necessarily find in a text book.

"I'm going to university in September to study nursing. I'm so glad I've been able to gain this experience through volunteering as I now feel confident for what's ahead.

"I'd love to come back and work in the Emergency Department when I'm a fully qualified nurse, watch this space!"

Rebecca Spreadbury, 18 from Melksham, is also a health and social care student at Bath College and has been volunteering in the Oncology department.

Rebecca said: "I've been able to take my experience in the hospital back into the classroom and apply it to my studies. It's really brought my learning to life.

"I've learnt how to speak to patients and how to interact with colleagues. It's given me such a confidence boost ahead of starting my nurse training in September and I'd really recommend it to anyone thinking about starting on a career in healthcare."

There are more than 400 volunteers in total at the RUH in a variety of roles across the hospital, not just on the wards. These include volunteers for the Friends of the RUH shop and café as well as in spiritual care, welcoming patients and visitors and our gardening volunteers.

Pippa Weaver, Volunteering Manager at Friends of the RUH, said: "We're so pleased to have built this relationship with Bath College which enables students to get a real feel for what it is like working in a hospital setting.

"We're really grateful to Isabelle and Rebecca, and all our volunteers, who provide a much valued service for patients and volunteers across the hospital."

If you are interested in volunteering at the RUH, you can find out more on the Friends of the RUH website - friendsoftheruh.org.uk – call 01225 824046 or email ruh-tr.volunteers@nhs.net

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