Junior doctor encourages others to follow the volunteering trail at Harrogate District Hospital

dr-mike-priceA junior doctor at Harrogate District Hospital who started out as a volunteer on the wards is urging other people to consider local volunteering options.

Dr Mike Price is speaking during the national Volunteer Week (1-12 June) as one of the fantastic 480 volunteers at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Price was one such volunteer for the Trust. He now works as an F1 doctor on the wards of Harrogate District Hospital, including Bylands – years after originally volunteering as a meal time volunteer there. He cemented his interest in medicine through work experience schemes and volunteering while completing his study at St Aidan’s CE High School, Harrogate.

Mike, from Wetherby, recognises the value of the time he spent volunteering within the hospital. He said: “My time volunteering was incredibly useful in that it allowed me an insight into the busy workings of a hospital, confirming that it was an environment in which I could see myself working one day.

“I’d advise anybody interested in finding out more about potential careers in medicine to spend time volunteering and carrying out work experience in hospital, as hospitals are busy environments. It’s a long degree that can be very challenging so it helps to know beforehand whether the end result might really be for you.”

A proud Fiona Tomlinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator, has witnessed Mike’s career development from day one. She said: “It’s great to see him progress so well. He’s a fantastic asset to the Trust and was a prime example of the passion shown by a young volunteer. We currently have volunteers who come from all walks of life, ranging in age from 16-92.

“This year is an extended celebration of our wonderful volunteers. They deserve more than just a week to celebrate their hard work and dedication in making a difference for patients who need it the most.”

Dr Price has a greater appreciation of volunteers since joining the paid workforce at the Trust. He believes that their presence enhances the patient experience dramatically.

He added: “Having extra volunteers at mealtimes, for example, means that patients who might struggle more with opening packets or even seeing the food on their plates are more able to enjoy their meals, and more staff are available to help.”

The Trust currently has 480 volunteers actively helping throughout the hospital and in the community. On average, these volunteers give 2,000 hours a month of their time.


Notes to editors:

Volunteers’ Week is a great way to celebrate the work of volunteers. By becoming a volunteer you’ll be using your skills, talent and time to help other people in your community.

Our volunteers help in these areas as:  Meal Time volunteers, Tea Time Preparation Volunteers, Chaplaincy visitors, Hospital Radio Request Collectors and Presenters, Meet & Greet Volunteers for main reception and outpatient clinics and departments and also on the wards, Craft volunteers on Oakdale Ward, Lascelles Unit and on Trinity Ward at Ripon Community Hospital, Pets as Therapy Volunteers, Discharge Lounge volunteers, admin volunteers for directorates and departments and  Voluntary Complementary Therapists along with Welcome, admin ,SASH, support volunteers for the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Unit.  Volunteers also help with surveys, fundraising and assist at hospital events.

78,000 people volunteer in acute NHS trusts (King’s Fund Survey, 2013).

For further information please contact:

Stephen Kelly, Communications and Marketing Assistant Stephen.kelly@hdft.nhs.uk and 01423 557732

For further information on how to volunteer:

Please visit our volunteering page or contact:

Fiona Tomlinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator Fiona.tomlinson@hdft.nhs.uk and 01423 555736