‘Desperate’ appeal for hospital helpers

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THE GROUP of volunteers which does vital work at Ilkeston Community Hospital has said it is in ‘desperate’ need of new members to be able to carry on.

Due to illness, holidays and other factors, membership of the League of Friends – which raises thousands of pounds every year for the Heanor Road hospital – is at its lowest for years, according to chairman Mike Perry.

“We are pretty desperate at the moment,” he explained.

“It’s a ‘your hospital needs you’ sort of situation at the minute.”

The League helps out wherever it can at the hospital, but Mike explained that they are having ‘major problems’ finding people to deliver papers to patients and to meet and greet patients at the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, which has three operating theatres.

“We need people in good health who can be on call at a moment’s notice,” he said.

At the Diagnostic centre, League members meet and greet patients, keep them company and make cups of tea while they wait for their operations.

Volunteer Carol Gold delivers newspapers, including the ‘Tiser, to the patients, helps out the hospital hairdresser and, if that wasn’t enough, serves behind the tea bar.

“We do ask a lot of our members,” explained Mike, “but I wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.

“Every Sunday morning I bring the papers to the patients – it keeps my feet on the ground.

“It can be harrowing when you see people who are very ill, but that’s what we are there for, to provide a service to people who need it.”

He added: “The work we do helps free up nurses for the work they should be getting on with.

“In that way we help to reduce waiting times for patients and make the hospital more efficient.”

If you can help out contact Melanie Dakin on 0115 930 5522. All volunteers will be required to undergo Criminal Record Bureau checks before starting.