Community Service, or Outreach as it is called at the College, can do much to broaden understanding and tolerance. In addition to having an educational role, Outreach forges links with and raises awareness of challenges within the local community, and facilitates meeting and being of real assistance to people who are in need.
Upper Sixth Formers Mary B, Lydia B and Abdul R have told us about their experience as volunteers.
Lydia says: I normally spend two or three hours every Tuesday afternoon on the Emergency Floor at Worthing Hospital. I became involved with the hospital through a combination of Outreach and the Lancing Medics Society. I initially signed up for 20 weeks’ volunteering, but once I had completed that, I chose to stay on as I am really enjoying the experience. The Emergency Floor is a very complex ward and, as it is always very busy, I have been able to see how lots of different people within the healthcare team work together, from physiotherapists and dieticians to healthcare assistants and consultants. As I want to be a doctor in the future and am applying to medical school at the moment, this has been an invaluable experience for me. I have found that patients really value having volunteers on the ward as they are someone they can talk to, especially the more elderly patients, as often the time they spend in hospital can be very isolating. It is really rewarding to see the difference that giving up a small amount of our time to listen can make to people.
Mary says: Before volunteering at Worthing Hospital I had never experienced being inside a hospital before, so I didn’t know what to expect. My experience was definitely eye-opening: I learnt so much about how life works on the ward and I really felt as though I was part of the team. For 20 weeks I spent three hours every Tuesday afternoon on the hospital’s maternity ward, and my time was usually spent helping with cleaning and making beds, serving dinners, and preparing discharge packs for the new parents. Every week on the ward was different, I was given new responsibilities and was able to spend a lot of time with the patients, talking to them and providing any assistance I was able to. A highlight during my time on the ward was being trusted to hold a newborn baby, it was an exciting and humbling moment for me. I aspire to be a doctor and being a volunteer on the ward has given me an insight that I am very grateful for.
Abdul says: I have been working on the Hillside Project since Fifth Form: every Thursday we welcome students from Hillside School to the College and help them in a variety of activities, including farming and conservation work. We change the activities regularly to make sure that the children involved always try and learn new things. We have activities in the classroom, take the students on walks around the school or we visit the farm to interact with the animals. I truly enjoy being a part of this project, and the most enjoyable aspect is definitely meeting new people every time. I also volunteer at Worthing Hospital every Wednesday afternoon. I am assigned to a ward focusing on general medicine for elderly patients, where I help in cleaning and preparing beds, serving meals to patients and assist in transporting patients around the hospital. I enjoy meeting and talking to a wide variety of people, be it patients, doctors or the hospital care staff, and learning about their life stories and the different places they have been.