As part of Volunteers Week 2019 (June1-7), we are looking at some of the volunteer roles around Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Here we meet Listener, Alma Kitsberg.
When Alma Kitsberg had a triple bypass operation in 2015, she had no idea that it would spark a close affiliation with Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Through her subsequent cardiac rehabilitation appointments, Alma was asked to film a patient story about her experience. From there, the Trust’s Patient Experience department invited Alma to be part of the ‘Patient Panel’ where a group of patients are asked their opinions on a range of topics.
Alma said: “Following my time as part of the Patient Panel, the Patient Experience Manager said I would be perfect as a volunteer Listener, so I applied and have been here for two years now.”
As a Listener, Alma visits all the wards at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to gather patient feedback through a questionnaire on an iPad, but also takes time to chat to patients if they are in need of a friendly conversation.
Alma said: “Taking time to take the patients takes precedence over the survey which can be completed at another time. It’s really important to be able to spend time with those who would benefit from some company. I know what it is like to be on a ward for a long time and being able to talk to someone helps to break up the long days.”
Alma enjoys volunteering at the hospital so much, she also makes teas and coffees in the hospital’s Windmill Unit and even helps to fund raise for hospital charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund.
She added: “I love my time here. If, like me, you like talking, then this role is for you. I get a real sense of satisfaction knowing that I have helped brighten someone’s day.
“Since I started volunteering here, I have gained more empathy than I ever had before. My confidence has grown and I’ve made new friends. My job here has even helped me with my grief having lost my husband earlier this year after 42 years of marriage.
“I would recommend that anyone with some spare time considers volunteering at the Trust. I’m so glad I did.”
You can see Alma’s patient story here:
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Blackpool Victoria or Clifton Hospital, you are welcome to attend these recruitment events:
Monday, June 3 – Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s mezzanine, 11am until 2pm
Thursday, June 4 – Clifton Hospital, Pershore Road, Lytham St Annes, 12 until 3pm
For any further details, please ring 01253 957399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org