Volunteers needed to help keep vital Exeter hospital service running
A MUCH-LOVED service for Exeter hospital patients needs your help.
The trolley service in the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital, Wonford operates six days a week and helps to raise funds for the comfort of the patients.
It is currently staffed by volunteers but more are needed.
The service dates back to the end of the Second World War when the hospital was based in Dean Clarke House in Southernhay.
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It sells things like sweets, drinks and toiletries to patients, things that they would find difficult to get for themselves while they are in hospital.
Originally it was run by the Red Cross and all the profits went to the hospital. About 20 years ago the charity decided that if it was raising money it had to go to the Red Cross.
June Edwards, the organiser of the trolley service said: "It then just became the hospital trolley and is to raise money for the comfort of the patients.
"We have provided extra chairs, monitoring equipment and even new tables for the theatre.
"The idea is that the ward managers apply to us for things that they need and we put it to our committee.
"We may buy it outright or if it is a big item we could add money to it for them."
At the moment the trolley service has 24 volunteers but it could really do with between 30 and 40.
Mrs Edwards explained: "We do six rounds a week with two volunteers at a time because the trolley is quite heavy – we reckon that for one round of the hospital we walk about six miles!
"Ideally I don't like anyone doing more than two rounds a month but at the moment some are doing three a week."
A hospital spokesman said: "We are very grateful to the volunteers who show such dedication and loyalty to a service that is really appreciated by patients.
"It would be wonderful if more volunteers could come forward as the trolley is a highly valued part of the hospital."
Those volunteering will have to be CRB checked however, if you think you might like to help with the hospital trolley, then you can accompany two of the volunteers first.
Mrs Edwards explained: "In the past some have gone through the CRB checks and started as a volunteer but then found that it is not for them.
So now, they can have a taster first."
If you are interested in volunteering contact Jacky Perry correct on 01392 406058.