Phil, Ambulance Support
Philip, a 60-year-old grandfather from Bolton, dedicates his time to the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme, contributing to the wellbeing of ambulance crews at Accident and Emergency departments.
After a commendable 35-year career as a children's nurse within the NHS, he now spends his retirement caring for his 2-and-a-half-year-old grandson, and actively engaging in volunteer work within his local community. Philip provides refreshments and friendly conversations to ambulance crews awaiting patient handovers.
"I am semi-retired, and so when I’m not looking after my grandson, I have lots of free time. I decided to put it to good use and volunteer. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to keep active and support the local community.
"I've been helping out with Ambulance Support, and it's been a great experience. The crews always appreciate what we do, knowing we're all volunteers here by choice. Having spent my entire career working in healthcare I feel like I understand some of what the crews experience which helps me to know when to approach them and when not to. Overall, it is a very rewarding role, and the feedback is always positive.
"One thing I really like about volunteering is the friendly atmosphere among the crew members. During my first Ambulance Support shift on Christmas Eve, many crews came over just to say thanks. Even though they were finishing their shifts and didn't need snacks, they wanted to show their appreciation for someone supporting them, especially during the festive season.
"My favourite part of volunteering is meeting new people and knowing that, even if it's just for a short time, I'm helping to support them.
"I would recommend being a volunteer, even if you can only give a few hours a month. For younger people, it always looks good on a CV when applying for jobs. And for older people like me, it gives a sense of purpose and a way to repay past kindnesses."