Hospital volunteers make a difference

Christine Redford and Stuart Johnson volunteer at the Northern General Hospitals Palliative Care Unit
Christine Redford and Stuart Johnson volunteer at the Northern General Hospitals Palliative Care Unit

Two Sheffield volunteers say their roles at a hospital care unit have given them a new lease of life.

 Retirees Christine Redford (78) and Stuart Johnson (66), volunteer at the Northern General Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit, after they both lost their spouses years ago.

The Sheffield Hospitals Charity-funded volunteering scheme allows people like Christine and Stuart, two of the current 575 volunteers, to contribute spare hours to make a difference to patients across the city’s hospital sites. 

Christine, from Chapeltown, has volunteered two days a week at the hospital and has not missed for 11 years, more recently in the unit as a mealtime support volunteer.

Christine, said: “I volunteer because I feel as though I need to have something positive in my life since I lost my husband. This fills a space in my life and makes me feel like I’ve got something to give.  

“Volunteering can be hard but it’s rewarding. It can give you a purpose in life.  For me, it’s just being able to spend the last moments with some of the patients.

“If they remember anything at all, I’m someone with a kind face and a smile and someone who says take care. I feel it a privilege that I can do that.”

Stuart Johnson, from High Green has volunteered on the unit for the past 14 months, two days a week as a companion – keeping patients company and brightening their day.

“I’ve got some lovely people I work with, they’re treasures, they make you feel like part of the family. Volunteering is so rewarding. Anyone that thinks they want to do it – give it a go.”

To donate to the Volunteer Service, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate or call 0114 226 7351.