Date of release: 3 June 2021
Our third volunteer featured for National Volunteers Week is Karen Wortans, who was inspired to help out after being a patient herself.
Karen, 52, said: “I became a volunteer because I noticed on the wards the staff were very busy and not really getting breaks. So I asked if there was anything I could do that was unpaid to help out and they suggested I became a volunteer.
“I’ve been volunteering for two or three years now. I like to do it because I want to support people going through treatment. They can see I’ve come through the other side and that gives them the encouragement and the hope that they can get through it as well.”
Karen believes the role of the volunteer has become more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, because of restrictions on visiting patients. “Volunteering has changed in COVID-19 in the fact patients can’t have their families there to support them,” added Karen. “So I feel I am that support because I step in to fill that gap – I’m the human side of the hospital. Since COVID the role hasn’t really changed; however the support for the patient is a lot bigger. I spend a lot more time talking with patients whereas before we’d talk with the family as a whole group. Now I’m that bit of support that the family would normally take.”
Watch Karen Wortans' Video