As the nation once again prepares to clap for our carers at 8pm tonight, I’m proud to say I am now an official volunteer for the NHS. This time next week I have my first appointment at my local hospital for a “vaccination update” which is to protect me while I’m at the hospital reporting for duty.
The application process was understandably quite long and very rigorous, but I was helped by the fact that I have an Enhanced DBS Certificate to support my application to be a porter and a driver. The latter could involve shopping for patients being discharged from hospital or collecting prescriptions etc.. Regarding the former, I can’t deny I have a little concern given all the news about lack of PPE, nevertheless I’m determined to help out any way I can to relieve the very heavy workload for the wonderful professionals who’re giving everything and more to help us through this crisis. I also can’t deny that doing my bit to help will be good for my morale too (which is something I want to write more about in future posts).
During my remote interview I learned that the NHS are keen to engage volunteers on a more sustainable basis throughout the crisis and beyond, and they were interested in my suggestion of creative writing workshops to those patients – both hospitalised or in care homes – who have a penchant for such things. I’m keen to explore options in terms of my providing this service in the future at such a time when the world is able to get back to some sort of normality.
But of course that seems some way off, so for now I’ll be joining my neighbours in clapping for our carers. Except tonight I’ll be quietly proud to clap for myself as well. Why not?