Volunteering is joy for Irene

Volunteering is joy for Irene

3 August 2022

WHEN people walk through the door of a hospital they are often in a state of fear and anxiety and many don’t know which way to turn. That’s why someone like Irene Watterson is so important.

Irene, who is from Comber, is one of a band of amazing volunteers who help people find their way through the often frightening first steps into places like the Ulster Hospital.

But of course it’s not always bad news when visitors arrive through the health facility’s doors – some are overjoyed at a good test result or at the prospect of meeting a new infant member of their family.

Whatever the reason, Irene is one of the welcoming people who greet visitors – and staff too – and help them negotiate their way through the large hospital.

Irene is among the army of some 500 volunteers with the whole of the South Eastern Trust and has been giving up her time to help hospital visitors for the past 15 years.

During the pandemic, many Trust volunteers were unable to play this vital role, but now they are back on duty and delighted to be back at their posts assisting where they can.

Irene, who was one of those able to volunteer during the pandemic, explained the benefit the role brings to her.

“I wanted to give something back to those who need help. By volunteering I feel I am doing something worthwhile,” she said. “Volunteering has given me a lot of satisfaction, especially when I could volunteer during Covid, helping staff and visitors throughout the hospital. It’s a part of history.” 

Volunteer Services Manager Sonya Duffy said: “The over 500 volunteers in our Trust play a vital role. People of all ages give up their time to help our patients and staff every day. They make a real difference and we are really grateful for the great work that they do.”

If you are interested in volunteering you can get more information on our website - https://setrust.hscni.net/getinvolved/volunteering/