As many of the volunteers at The Horder Centre, I was a patient having a hip replacement in 2013. The staff were caring and friendly and this made me think that I would like to give some of my spare time to help where I could be of use. I joined in August 2014 as volunteer on Dufferin Ward.
My role is talking to the patients and ensuring they are comfortable and have their personal belongings to hand. Operations and a stay in hospital can be quite daunting and hopefully just by chatting will help to alleviate their anxieties and as I have been a patient too, I can relate to how they are feeling. I am happy to undertake any tasks required on the ward to help the staff.
I thoroughly enjoy my sessions and being part of a team and have recently joined the HR and Volunteer offices to help with administration.
When I am not volunteering, my main interest is my garden and always seem to have major projects on the go!
Rod joined us in September 2010 offering patient support to our patients and visitors in the car park. He now volunteers in our coffee shop helping to serve customers and keep the coffee shop clean and tidy.
“I was fortunate to have my knee replacement at The Horder Centre and found all the staff so caring and friendly. When I got the chance to volunteer I was happy to know I was a part of that team.”
As a patient in 2011, I read the patient magazine and noticed the article saying that the Centre was looking for volunteer gardeners.
My keen interests are conservation and wildlife and I have built up years of experience in gardening. I am an outdoors person and like to be at one with nature. I am also Chairman of the Kent Wildlife Trust of Ashford and Tenterden.
“I started volunteering at The Horder Centre in March 2011. I find gardening at the Centre therapeutic and I like to deliver my gardening skills to the hospital and the patients. I feel I am giving patients a feeling of tranquillity and peacefulness following their operations”.
I was so grateful to THC after having both hips replaced with them that I wanted to give something back. Volunteering seemed an ideal opportunity to do that and I joined in 2011. I volunteer in the reception area. My day involves escorting patients to their appointments and for their operations. I chat with them and try to alleviate any fears they may have – especially as I have been in their shoes! There is always something I can help with. I love meeting people and I really enjoy my role.
Everyone is so friendly and seem to appreciate me being here.
“To be appreciated is a nice feeling – it is really different being a volunteer rather than the feeling that you are going to work and I didn’t really understand that until I came here. I look forward to coming here and honestly “I just love it”
Sue Smith, a retired auxiliary nurse of 25 years, decided to volunteer at
The Horder Centre after seeing an advert whilst waiting for a consultant appointment. After two years of volunteering on the ward, Sue decided to commence a training programme with the support of Horder Healthcare and return to work as a healthcare assistant.
Sue says “When I saw the advert for volunteering, it made me think how nice it would be to get back into a hospital environment and do something of use as I had time on my hands! Being a volunteer is very rewarding, I felt I was really supporting the staff and helping to deliver a great patient experience.
Having worked in many hospitals in the past, I was pleased to see that the patients were treated as individuals not just a bed number. Although the staff are very busy, they still maintain a cheerful smile and friendly approach to all patients and to other staff.”
Alexandra White started volunteering in February 2017 when she
decided that she wanted to pursue a career in physiotherapy after
completing her A Levels and university.
Alexandra explains “My role is to visit patients on comfort rounds,
making sure they are well and have everything they need, as well as
assisting the staff where possible. Performing this role has helped me to
develop my communication skills as well as demonstrating the kind of
attributes you need when working with patients who may be in pain;
for example, being empathetic and compassionate towards the
It has also made me certain that I want to pursue a career in
physiotherapy due to witnessing the work that physiotherapists at The
Horder Centre perform, and the amazing impact it has on patients
and their recovery. I love volunteering because you get to meet so
many new people and hear all their interesting stories.
Bill Purbrick decided to become a volunteer at The Horder Centre after his experience as a patient. Bill says “I had a very good experience at The Horder Centre. When I was 70 years old I was told that I needed a new knee joint and having never been in a hospital for all those years, I was very worried! I spoke to the surgeon and he put my mind at rest. I went on to have a very successful operation and the aftercare was superb. “When I heard they were looking for volunteers I decided to help in The Horder Centre car park, assisting patients arriving for appointments."