A former employee at Basildon Hospital who now volunteers has urged others to spare their time as Volunteers’ Week finishes.
All of the volunteers who contribute to the hospital were invited to a special afternoon tea on Friday 8 June so staff could say thank you for giving their time up to help patients.
Around 50 people came along to meet their friends and colleagues and enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake.
Among them was Ashton Watts, 82, who joined Basildon University Hospital back in 1980, taking in deliveries for what is now known as the procurement department.
He said: “I managed central stores where we accepted goods and deliveries for Basildon Hospital, Southend Hospital and St Andrews. The department changed over the years; it’s now much more than deliveries. Back then it was a much smaller site because the Jubilee Wing and the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre hadn’t opened yet, and everyone knew everyone who worked here.”
Ashton retired aged 70, in 2005. But after five weeks he was back on his old stomping ground in procurement as a volunteer and he works up to 10 hours per week.
He said: “Since the age of 15 I have always worked. Volunteering keeps me from sitting at home. I enjoyed my time here and I still enjoy working in procurement. There are still so many people here that I know and it’s nice to see friendly faces.
“If anyone was thinking of volunteering, I would encourage them. It’s a good thing.”
Ashton works with Julie Savage, assistant contracts manager, who added: “I don’t know what it would be like without Ashton here. We talk about retiring yet here he is still coming back!”
Colleague Debbie White, supply chain manager, who has worked with Ashton since 1989, said: “He is an integral part of the team.”
There are volunteering opportunities in various departments across the trust including but not exclusive to; portering, administration, meet and greet, chaplaincy team, feeding buddies, plus patient panel, Basildon Hospital Radio, League of Friends and the RVS.
If you would like to become a volunteer and spare some time at Basildon or Orsett Hospitals, please contact one or all of the following:
For hospital volunteering firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a governor, call the membership office, 01268 598975
Basildon Hospital League of Friends, email email@example.com
RVS, call 01268 524900 ext 3392
Basildon Hospital Radio, call 01268 524900 ext 3940