Jeffrey Marks, 69, who has volunteered at local hospitals for almost two decades, has encouraged others to come forward and do small things which can make a big difference to our patients.
One of Jeffrey’s main roles as a volunteer on Sunrise A ward at Queen’s Hospital is to help patients eat their meals – and he’s also become popular among his male patients by giving them a shave and haircut.
He said: “I had some time which I could give to others and wanted to give something back. It’s a lovely thing to do and I enjoy talking with them and hearing their stories.
“Of course some people don’t want to be there, and I find as I spend time with them, they open up. We talk about their families, and some of the elderly gentlemen tell me about their service history, I find it really interesting.”
Jeffrey, of Wittering Walk, Hornchurch, starting volunteering around 18 years ago when he took early retirement from his job at BT, where he had worked for 28 years. He started at St George Hospital in Hornchurch, and has also volunteered at Brentwood Community Hospital and Grays Court Community Hospital in Dagenham.
He started out with us as a volunteer at King George Hospital 10 years ago.
The father-of-two and grandfather-of-five feels real satisfaction when he sees his patients get well, and if anyone is feeling a bit down – a few jokes always go down well.
He added: “I like to tell a few jokes, it really brightens people up. Some of the ladies then tell me jokes which sometimes make me blush! Sunrise A is a lovely ward to work on.”
Jeffrey volunteers twice a week at our hospital, on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
We’re really keen for more volunteers to join Jeffrey to help our patients, particularly at mealtimes, and will provide all training. Mealtime volunteering could include helping patients to open packets and cutting food, or assisting them to eat or drink.