Sophie explains how she gained both relevant career experience and benefited from helping the community and a great cause.
Sophie spent her time at the Hospice as a Ward Support Volunteer, a vital role supporting the nursing staff by making patients and their families and friends feel comfortable in the hospice environment.
Sophie is currently a student studying biology, chemistry and psychology and heard about volunteering at St Peter & St James Hospice from BHASVIC college in Brighton.
The thought of volunteering at the Hospice initially made Sophie nervous, being in a very different environment and around new people, but she found that the induction day really helped;
“I was feeling very nervous, not about the ward but going to a new place, meeting new people, and the induction day really put me at ease; it was welcoming and engaging.”
Sophie will soon be studying Neuroscience at University. She has found it insightful to see the clinical team working together – nurses, doctors and HCAs – and how the team communicates with patients. She has also learned how neurological illnesses and symptoms are managed and treated with compassion and care in practice.
“I’ve been able to see the realities of palliative care, the good parts and sometimes the sad parts of the hospice, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing how my degree might be used in practice.”
One of the most enjoyable parts of her role has been with patients however;
“It has been really nice chatting with the patients about our shared love of reading and books. Also making tea for patients and their family and friends – it sounds silly, but sometimes it’s really nice to be able to do something small for people at a difficult time in their life.”
Volunteer roles like the one Sophie does are a fantastic opportunity for people especially students to gain vital skills, experience and confidence in a healthcare setting. This kind of experience can be a great boost for future employment and education opportunities, including applying for university and even jobs at our hospice.