To mark volunteers week, held annually from June 1-7, King’s College Hospital has paid tribute to all those who have returned to work at the NHS during the Coronavirus crisis – like Lindsay Batty-Smith, from Peckham.
The 63-year-old retired from King’s in 2014, and is now volunteering at the trust helping with deliveries, hand washing and visiting older patients.
She worked at the hospital for 25 years, specialising in imaging, and helped train radiography students.
“The trust continues to have an amazing energy about it, and though I retired in 2014, there are many familiar faces of colleagues and friends who are still working there – that says something,” she said.
“I still know the hospital like the back of my hand. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the team of volunteers has shown a tremendous spirit of giving and goodwill.
“There are people from a variety of backgrounds all pulling together to make an incredibly challenging situation better for those less able to cope, or who are working long hours on wards and are exhausted.
“I particularly enjoy being the hand wash ‘monitor’ for the boardroom, as I get to meet and greet staff and ask how their day is going.
“I also make a point of thanking them for coming. Delivering mountains of food to the wards was very meaningful, as this act of generosity from charitable donations was very moving.
“I also befriend one of the elder wards, where I try and bring a bit of cheer, and support to the most lonely and vulnerable.
“Staying hopeful and positive during the pandemic is so important. It is all about the tremendous team spirit, and support from the volunteer managers, which helps us keep well and positive.
“We are a very diverse group and have access to our colleagues from spiritual welfare if needed.
“I think I have made some firm friends amongst the group too. I am part of the LGBTQ+ community and have that extra dimension to support similar staff and patients.
“No-one signs up to become a volunteer for the financial benefits. The reward of giving is much more than money could ever buy.”