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Josie’s volunteer story: From the No.51 bus

Volunteer Josie outside main entrance
25 January 2021
One day, on the way back from town on the number 51 bus, Josie spotted a banner asking for volunteers at Sheffield Children’s.
 
“I thought, ‘this is my time’. I’m a people person and it’s something I always wanted to do.”
 
Josie has spent the last four and a half years volunteering her time as a meet and greeter in our hospital main entrance. She assists patients and families when they come for appointments or surgery and helping to settle any nerves they may have.
 
She said: “It can be very bewildering for children when they come. To help them settle I might say little things to the children, silly things like ‘I like the way you’ve done your hair’ and the children smile and the mums mouth ‘thank you’ at me.
 
“Sometimes you see a child coming in looking a bit tearful but then when they leave there’s a little hop, skip and a jump. It’s very rewarding. You think ‘I’ve done some good’ when you walk out of Sheffield Children’s.”
 
To keep patients, staff and volunteers safe from COVID-19 the Trust has made a number of changes. This includes social distancing and PPE guidelines as well as smaller changes within Outpatients.
 
Josie added: “The seats have been spaced out around Outpatients and we’re sanitising the screens too.”
 
Before retiring, Josie had worked as a school cook for 28 years and also in the laundry room of a hospital and a tool factory.
 
“I never thought an office was for me. This role is ideal for me because I’m always out and about. To be a volunteer you’ve got to have compassion, show understanding and be able to approach people in a pleasant way. I make a point in including the child in any conversation because they’re not a number – they’re a person.
 
“I was on the bus going home once and a little boy pointed at me and said ‘I know that lady’ and his mum said ‘Yes she showed us round the hospital’ so I must have made some impression!”
 
Thank you Josie for your work and dedication to volunteering with us!

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