Princess Alexandra’s oldest volunteer is still going strong!

Communities / Mon 8th Sep 2014 at 09:00am

Mr Harris, a great-grandfather from Harlow, has been helping out at the hospital for the last ten years as a way of repaying the care they gave his late wife.

And it was the turn of everyone on Fleming Ward, where cardiac patients are cared for, to say thank you to Mr Harris for the hours he has devoted to helping patients and staff over the last decade.

As he tucked into birthday cake, former lorry driver Bill explained why he decided to volunteer: “My wife Kit was diagnosed with leukaemia and was cared for here for six years by staff at Princess Alexandra and I just wanted to give something back.”

Bill volunteers four mornings a week, either taking the drinks-trolley around Fleming Ward and chatting to patients, or helping visitors and patients find their way around the hospital.

He said: “The atmosphere among both patients and staff on the ward is out-of-this-world. People are so friendly and cheerful and it was such a lovely moment today when everyone sang happy birthday to me”.
Ward orderly, Sandra Summers, said: “Bill is such an inspiration and goes about everything so quietly without any fuss. He comes in four times a week and despite his age and having had two knee operations he refuses to slow down.

“Today’s party is just a small way of letting him know how much he and all our volunteers are appreciated.”
Director of Nursing and Quality, Professor Nancy Fontaine, said: “We are so grateful to our volunteers for the fantastic work they do around the hospital. We are currently developing the team further and have just appointed three volunteer chaplains.

“We are also keen to welcome new volunteers to help the general public around the hospital. Volunteering can offer huge benefits both for the individual giving up their time and, of course, for the people they are helping.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more about what volunteering involves, please email: [email protected]


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