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College students in ground-breaking new initiative with PAH

Volunteer to Career

Photo: Health & Social Care students on the Volunteer to Career programme at PAH

Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust in Harlow have launched a brand-new initiative, Volunteer to Career Programme, in association with Harlow College, that not only boosts their voluntary services team with additional support, but also gives students an insight into the wide range of roles and opportunities available within the Trust.

On Friday 19 January the hospital welcomed the first cohort of Volunteer to Career students (pictured), who are all studying Health and Social Care at Harlow College.

The five students will be based on Tye Green Ward for one morning per week for the next 12 months. They will be under the supervision of ward staff and will support with activities to help prevent deconditioning, communicating with patients, improving the overall patient experience in the healthcare setting and supporting staff with day to day tasks.

Harlow College Assistant Academy Manager for Health and Science, Philippa Bennett, said: “We are thrilled to be working with PAHT on this ground-breaking project, Volunteer to Career. Our learners are proud to be wearing NHS volunteer uniforms and already feel part of the hospital community. It will not only greatly enhance their learning, but provides a clear step from full-time education to a role within the NHS.”

One of the student volunteers, Akosua Opoku (pictured centre) said: “It was amazing! I talked to patients and helped with their lunches using the person-centred care skills I learn at college.”

Karen Kingsmill, Outreach and Retention Resourcing Partner said: “We are delighted to get this programme underway, to help boost our voluntary services team and give the students an insight into the wide and varied roles on offer here at PAHT. Our intention is to expand the programme and hopefully recruit more volunteers on a three-month rolling basis.”