Appeal for hospital volunteers

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HOSPITAL staff in Morpeth are on the lookout for volunteers to help make patients’ stays more enjoyable.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which manages hospitals across the county, is appealing for people to come forward to help out at the Whalton Unit at Morpeth Cottage Hospital.

Volunteers would help to keep patients occupied by playing cards or other games, reading books and newspapers, or simply chatting and reminiscing, and the trust is also looking for people to assist patients who find it difficult to eat meals on their own.

Modern Matron for Morpeth and Alnwick Julie Button said: “As a trust we’ve made significant improvements to our patients’ experiences of our services, however we are committed to increasing the social interaction of our patients, many of whom are elderly.

“Simple activities, such as having a chat about old times, playing cards together or reading a book out loud, are great ways of doing that.

“These all help to improve patients’ health and wellbeing and have a positive impact on their recovery. For many patients, having social interaction will help them get better more quickly.

“Having volunteers who come in specifically to carry these out will help structure these activities and ensure they happen regularly.”

She added: “We’re looking for people who are able to spare a few hours a week, are willing to help our patients, and ideally have experience of engaging with older people.”

The trust already has volunteers to help at meal times in other hospitals. It is also looking to recruit helpers for Alnwick and Berwick infirmaries.

Full training will be given and hours will be flexible.

For more information, call 0191 203 1664.