Volunteer stories: Tricia

My name is Tricia. I worked for many years in the Careers Service and Connexions helping unemployed young people find work and training. When I was made redundant due to government funding cutbacks, I was keen to start volunteering and to use the skillset developed in my working life to help in the community.

Tricia 1

I started volunteering at BARN in 2012 where my main role is matching people who want to volunteer with suitable local opportunities. I enjoy this work very much, especially when meeting people who call at the BARN office. During the lockdown I have been able to continue this work at home.

In 2015 I started volunteering for Healthwatch Worcestershire. The work is very varied and interesting so that people in Worcestershire are able to have a say about health and social care services. I have recently taken part in a PLACE (Patient-led assessment of the care environment) at Worcester Royal Hospital and a “Mystery Shopper” exercise on navigating the Worcestershire County Council website as if I was looking for residential care for an elderly relative.

In March/April this year I was due to take part in a Children’s Hospital engagement at Kidderminster Hospital visiting Day Surgery, Ophthalmology and ENT Outpatients to speak to children and parents/carers. Due to the situation with Covid-19, Healthwatch Worcestershire has suspended all engagement at this time.

In April this year I started making bags for NHS staff to put their contaminated scrubs in at the end of a shift so they could take them home for washing in the bags safely. My friends and neighbours were very helpful and gave me lots of sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases so that I made 87 bags! I then volunteered to make some scrubs which is a bit more tricky so that I have had to draw on some long unused sewing skills. Currently on my 5th set (they also seem to need size extra large!).