Kind-hearted volunteers are providing vital support to staff at Rugby's Hospital of St Cross - and now the team is looking for more help.
At present members of The Friends of St Cross are helping to carry out administration duties on wards.
Hoskyn Ward Clerk Claire Woon said the number of telephone calls has doubled since restrictions on patient visitors came into force due to COVID-19.
She said: “It is paramount calls are answered in a timely manner to alleviate any anxiety the relatives may be feeling.
“There has also been an increase in paperwork and the volunteers are aiding the ward clerks with these extra duties, for example collating admission packs.
“The volunteers could also be asked to collect something from pharmacy, which again is valuable time gained for our clinical staff.”
Volunteer Bob Tooze, who is 65 and retired, said: “I live a 15-minute walk away so I thought I would do something useful and help out.
“I’ve found it very interesting and feel, from the feedback I have had, that I am making a difference.”
All volunteers follow the same strict safety guidelines as staff, including the use of PPE and maintaining social distancing, to ensure safety.
Willy Goldschmidt, chairman of the Friends of St Cross, said: “Friends volunteers have been keen to support the fabulous team at St Cross ever since the first full lockdown restrictions eased.
“We have provided meet and greet services for several months, guiding patients to the appropriate entrance for appointments.
“Last month we welcomed the opportunity to support the staff on wards and have recruited a mix of new and existing volunteers to do this.
"The feedback from the volunteers and staff has been great.”
"The charity now has 70 active volunteers and we are hoping to recruit more in order to support the new chemotherapy unit, which will be opening soon, and to provide more of our traditional services as and when lockdown eases further.
"As the number of services expands we will be on the lookout for volunteers to co-ordinate these services and to potentially join the group of Trustees of the charity.”
To learn more about volunteering with the Friends, visit bit.ly/3lbhVD3 or call Karen Tomlinson on 01788 663748.