Volunteers Week 2021 is 1 to 7 June 2021, and is a time to say thanks for the amazing contribution volunteers make to The Christie. This week, we’re looking at how one of those volunteers has been making a difference by volunteering from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rose Beeson has volunteered with The Christie since 1998 after retiring from dentistry. Since answering an advert in the local newspaper over 22 years ago, Rose has helped in various areas of the Trust. Her roles have included administration in the social work team, assisting the pharmacy staff, serving teas and coffees in the charity’s May Draper Tea Bar and giving feedback on the patient information committee.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place and volunteers unable to come on-site, Rose is one of a small number of volunteers who have been able to continue volunteering on the patient information committee as this role can be done virtually from home.
Volunteering is not the only way Rose has been keeping busy during lockdown – she has been continuing singing lessons over Zoom. As secretary of her choir The Tatton Singers in Knutsford, Rose has been keeping in touch with the members to make sure everyone’s doing well.
Rose has also been continuing her ballet lessons during lockdown. She’s been taking lessons for 3 years in Sale and is part of the Silver Swans, a national group for over 55s formed by the Royal Academy of Dance.
“Volunteering with the tea bar has been one of my favourite roles because of the contact with patients and staff. You get this patient contact volunteering in many areas of the hospital but at the tea bar it’s a much more relaxed setting so you can have a chat and help them feel more reassured whilst also serving a cup of tea.
“I have been volunteering with the patient information committee since 2018. This involves looking at lots of different leaflets and text intended to help patients. We proofread them and also offer suggestions if we feel the leaflets would benefit from re-wording or a better explanation so everything is clear for the patients.
“Since lockdown last year, the volunteer work for the patient information committee has been virtual with documents sent over by email for us to review and amend and the meetings have taken place over Zoom video calls. I find volunteering on the committee rewarding as, not only are we helping to make documents more accessible and relatable to patients but personally I feel I am learning a lot about the different cancers and treatments available at The Christie.
“I’m looking forward to returning to regular volunteering when restrictions eventually lift. The tea bar is a great place to work and I’ve made some wonderful friends over the years whilst helping there. Once recruitment starts again I’d recommend volunteering at The Christie to anyone, just give it a go! There are usually a lot of different roles so keep your eye out and you’ll find one that suits you.”
Volunteer recruitment is still on hold at The Christie while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Once recruitment is live again, updates and volunteer roles will be posted on our volunteer page. This is where you can find out more about volunteering, the application process and available roles.