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Date: 23 September 2021

Time: 19:06

David Coles

Members' profiles: David Coles

When David Coles was made redundant he vowed he would do something positive to help him get back into work.

Like so many others in the retails industry, David found himself out of work. Not content with sitting at home in between applying for jobs, David decided that his spare time would be better spent volunteering in Selly Oak hospital.

"I had always wanted do some voluntary work so when I was made redundant I decided I would sign up. I also thought it might be a good way to show employers that I was still actively keeping up my communication and organisational skills."

For David, what started out as being a way to keep himself busy whilst he looked for another job, has now become a huge part of his life. The work that he is doing has made a tremendous difference to the patients on Selly Oak's ward S7.

The project involves running activities that patients can get involved with to make their experience better.

"Being in hospital for a while can be quite frustrating for patients as they are missing out on all the things they would normally be doing, " explains David, "We run activities such as art classes, origami and aerobics. We also watch musicals on DVD and have themed days – like our Greek day which are really good fun.

"It's not just about making hospitals fun. The activities are also important to the recovery of the patient; the patients get some exercise which helps with mobility, they get mental stimulation and most importantly they get interaction with other people which can really help improve how they feel about themselves. It's amazing how much quicker people can recover when they are enjoying themselves and thinking positively."

The project has proven very successful and David is now involved in setting up similar activities on other wards. "We have lots of support from the consultants, Dr Faisal and Dr Ibrahim, and the Chief Nurse and I am really am proud to be part of something has made such a huge difference to the patients."

We are currently recruiting for people to join the volunteer Team as Welcomers. Welcomers help patients and visitors find their way around the hospital and play an essential role in our Trust.

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