Volunteer hangs up her boots after 20 years of service at Whipps Cross
Whipps Cross Hospital said farewell to one of its veteran volunteers last week as Sheila Brand retired after 20 years of dedicated service to the hospital.
Sheila started volunteering at Whipps Cross in 1996 when a member of the Accident and Emergency team contacted Newbury Park and Ilford’s League of Jewish Women to see if any of its members would volunteer at the hospital. Sheila signed up to help out on Wednesday afternoons handing out lunches to patients in the Accident and Emergency department.
When she realised that Mondays were busier in the department, she decided to switch her volunteering day and has been lending her support to the busy department in a range of roles on Mondays every week ever since.
Sheila says that the main reason she decided to volunteer was because of the patients: “Being with the patients is what I have loved. Having a laugh, a joke and they were always very respectful. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t love it.”
Her decision to retire has only come about because she has now moved too far away from the hospital. She says: “It would take me over two hours and two buses to get to the hospital and so I thought I had to be realistic about if I could manage that. All good things come to an end.”
Last week, Sheila was awarded with a plaque from the volunteering team at Barts Health NHS Trust to thank her for her 20 years of services.
On handing the award to Sheila, Nancy Whiskin, Head of Volunteering, said: “Sheila is a wonderful, kind and compassionate person and an absolute asset to the volunteer’s team. Her contribution to A&E has been invaluable and she will be greatly missed.”
Whipps Cross, and all Barts Health hospitals, are hosting open days for people interested in volunteering and providing an invaluable helping hand to our patients and staff. Find out more about volunteering here or call 0207 377 7334 / 0207 377 7792
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.