Volunteer Case Studies

Emma Hempsall volunteered in the cafe at Newark Hospital Emma Hempsall, volunteer at Newark Hospital  

Hi I’m Emma, for those of you who I didn’t get the chance to meet!  I have been volunteering at the hospital for the past year as part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award but the time has finally come to go to University! I am going to York St John University to study Occupational Therapy.

Whilst working at the hospital, I have mainly helped out in the Mary Taylor Coffee Lounge but have also done a few shifts in the Outpatients Tea Bar.  I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering here, as it has given me the opportunity to meet a fantastic group of people of all ages, whilst helping the local community.

I believe that more young people should take up voluntary work as it is rewarding and you feel great satisfaction at the end of it.  It could also help with a job or university application.  I believe that volunteering helped towards my university application, as it showed that I was willing to give up a couple of hours a week to help others.

Working and communicating with people of all ages now comes easy to me and my confidence has increased as a result of this.

I hope to be able to take part in more voluntary work in the future.


Anna Fletcher, volunteer at Newark Hospital

I have been a volunteer at Newark Hospital for about a year. I started as part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, over a twelve-month period.  I began in my second year of sixth form when I was seventeen.  I’ve been able to fit volunteering into my timetable at school by using study/free periods (with the school’s agreement!).  I am now 18 and will be studying at the University of Leeds from September.

During my time as a volunteer I have been helping in the Out Patients Tea Bar for three hours every other Thursday morning. This has been a great experience for me.  I have formed strong bonds with some of the other volunteers, mostly of retirement age, whom I wouldn’t normally have chance to interact with.  The other volunteers have made my time volunteering enjoyable by sharing stories of their lives and joking about current affairs. As soon as I started volunteering I was made very welcome by the hospital staff and the other volunteers, with comments such as “It’s nice to see a younger person doing something positive for the local community” from some of the customers at the tea bar while I was serving them tea or coffee.

From my experience in the hospital, I have found that the scheme helps to support patients and their families in all sorts of ways. It also helps the hospital with its fundraising by using profit from the tea bar, holding raffles etc.

I’ve really enjoyed the last year volunteering at the hospital. It has also helped me to become more self confident in new situations, which is a valuable life skill. I have also been able to use the experience in my CV and in my UCAS personal statement when applying to universities.

I recommend volunteering to anyone of any age who has a couple of hours to spare. I have made many new friends and will be sad to say goodbye and thanks to all in Newark Hospital who I have got to know over this time.


Chris Keil, volunteer at Newark Hospital

Having been a volunteer in the Mary Taylor Coffee for a year and a half now, being asked to write an article on my experiences has offered me a wonderful opportunity to look back and reflect on what I have done.  I had done voluntary work before through the duke of Edinburgh award scheme, but never in a hospital environment before. 

I became involved after attending one of the open days at the hospital. The reason I wanted to do the voluntary work was at the time I was in year 12 and thinking about what I wanted when I left the sixth form. I had been thinking about doing medicine for a few months and decided to get some experience in a hospital environment. Obviously because of my age I wasn’t going to be able to go on wards and see anything medical but later on when I was having my medical interviews I found it really useful to say that I had done voluntary work. So my advice to anyone in the same position my best advice to make yourself look committed to undertaking such a long course is too get some work experience or if you can’t get that (the universities will understand that it is not easy to get work experience) then get some voluntary work done before you send your UCAS form off.

It is important to get some voluntary work in an environment where you will be involved with people and a caring environment. For example old people’s homes are always on the look out for volunteers, if you play a musical instrument like me then playing a few songs for a few hours a week will look very good.

The purpose of the coffee lounge is to provide refreshments to people visiting relatives on the wards. As a volunteer you will be making a lot of coffee and tea. Which if like me you’re not a big hot beverage drinker you will soon get the hang of it. Remember milk before teabag! Other drinks sold are cans of fizzy drinks and juices. The food sold is like chocolate bars, sweets, crisps and cakes, which also needs restocking as well. One thing which I have found really useful is getting quicker at adding up and if the cafeteria is quiet then it is a great place to take schoolwork and get it done You will meet lots of new people, customers and co-volunteers who are all really friendly. And from visitors’ reactions you can tell that the coffee lounge is much appreciated by the people who use it. They are also pleasantly surprised when they see younger people running the cafe But of course it wouldn’t be possible without the Voluntary Services team who make sure that there are volunteers at the cafeteria to keep it running. They are really understanding if you can’t make a time when you said you could, which is really helpful. Other voluntary work you can do is at the main desk letting people know where they need to be for their appointment. 

So if you are a young person thinking of getting some voluntary work to spruce up your UCAS form, CV or need some thing to do for the duke of Edinburgh award then any of the voluntary services at Newark Hospital should be ideal for you.  As for my results I got 3 A's, one each in chemistry, biology and maths. So I have gained my place to study Medicine at Sheffield.


John Deeming, Section Leader of the Daffodil Cafe/Buggy Driver

John began as a volunteer at King's Mill in February 2005 initially as an Escort volunteer in the old Outpatients Department.  As with many of us he found he had some time to spare and wanted to “put something back in to the Community”.

John became a buggy driver when the second buggy came on stream, and “fell in to helping in the old Outpatients Tea Bar” during the period when the Escort services were declining prior to the transfer of the Outpatient services in to the King's Treatment Centre.  He became Section Leader in October 2007. 

John is married with one son, enjoys DIY, keeping fish and walking when he is not here at Kings Mill.  He remains a Stags supporter (brave man!) having been born close to Field Mill.


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