Date of release: 6 June 2020
One popular volunteer can’t be accused of being ‘off her trolley’ - because she’s generally behind it!
Barbara Haley has been the face behind the trolley at Cannock Chase Hospital for the last decade. Every Tuesday and Friday morning, Barbara, with colleagues Pat Perry and Jean Pritchard, wheels the container crammed with crisps, sweets, chocolate, drinks and newspapers round the wards offering staff and patients the chance to snack on treats.
National Volunteers Week Day Six: Barbara Haley
It’s not a job where you can be shy, though thankfully Barbara’s not the bashful type. She sings in two choirs - Bel Canto at Chadsmoor Methodist Church, who raise £1,000 a year for Cancer Research, and St Stephens Church in Bideford Way - while she once trod the boards in amateur dramatics. “I go round the wards shouting ‘Anything off the trolley, folks?” said Barbara, a 73-year-old mother of two and grandmother of three who lives off nearby Pye Green Road. “I don’t give two hoots who’s there - even if doctors are there! They might want something off the trolley too! As long as we don’t get in their way I think it’s fine.”
Barbara, who also volunteers at St Stephens Church day centre one day a week, says she always saw herself helping others in her retirement. “It’s something I wanted to do for many years,” said Barbara, who was a care co-ordinator for a care agency, Primrose Homecare, in Wolverhampton for 11 years before retiring. “I wanted to give something back to society and always fancied taking a mobile shop round the wards. It’s a good way to meet people and I’ve got some lovely friends. Sometimes you can have a laugh and a joke with the patients if they are able to. It fills a void and I get an awful lot of satisfaction from it.”
Nothing would stop Barbara on her trolley round now. “As long as I am physically able to do it I will carry on,” she added. “I would recommend it to anyone.”
Barbara also has connections with New Cross Hospital. She was born there and when she was giving birth to son Andrew, now 40, she was on the same ward as Slade guitarist Jimmy Lea’s wife. “We met once in the lift one day when he came in to visit her,” she recalled.