A Sheffield woman is appealing for volunteers for Sheffield Hospitals Charity, after seeing firsthand how it can benefit local patients.
Andrea Blackett’s son, Michael, was treated for cystic fibrosis at the £2.4m Northern General Hospital in-patient ward in 2011 – which the charity contributed £1m towards building.
Sadly, Michael died in 2013, but Andrea is so passionate about the work of Sheffield Hospitals Charity that she now gives her time for free one day a week, to help others like her son.
Andrea said: “Michael was diagnosed with CF when he was eighteen months old. He had repeated chest infections, a nasty cough and was very underweight.
“When the CF unit was opened, Michael was one of the first patients to stay, as by that time his health had deteriorated. The ward benefitted him so much; he had all the facilities he needed, including large TV’s, fridges, WIFI, ensuite toilet and showers. It was a real home-from-home.
“Michael spent the last 11 months of his life in the unit awaiting a lung transplant before he sadly passed away, aged 26. The support the whole family got from the staff on the unit was second to none during his last few months and after his passing.
“After Michael left us we decided that the best way to thank them would be to stay connected and carry on fundraising so that other patients and families would be able to benefit from the wonderful place, as we did.
“When the charity asked for volunteers to help in the office I jumped at the chance to be part of the team. I work in the charity office regularly and I absolutely love it. I am eager to help and really don’t mind what I do, I just like to know that I am saving them time.
“The atmosphere in the office is light hearted but professional it is good to see how hard the team works. I'm sure Michael would be proud of me too.”
Visit sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/volunteer to register your interested in becoming a volunteer, or call 0114 2267343.