Since February 2019 Butterfly Volunteer Coordinator Emma Taylor has been working away at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, recruiting and training a brand new team of Butterfly Volunteers. We recently asked her to write about her experiences so far….
“I’ve worked with volunteers for most of my career and I have seen first-hand the huge impact they can have on organisations. They give up their time and skills for no other reason than because they want to and I think that’s something pretty spectacular in itself. What’s even more magical though, is our growing team of Butterfly Volunteers here at NNUH. They are not only giving up their time but they are doing something above and beyond the call of duty; they are giving comfort and love to patients in the last days of life. It really is the kindness of strangers that makes this role so truly unique and special and makes me very proud to be their Coordinator. My role is to look after our Butterfly team, so they can continue to care for those patients and families who need it the most, when they need it the most.
After 3 months of blood, sweat and maybe a little tear or two, our first Butterfly Volunteers went on shift in mid June. I sat in the waiting room of the wards, watching, waiting and hoping that the volunteers were ok.
I felt like a nervous mum waiting for their child to come home from their first day at school. One particular shift I was doing just this and I noticed that after 40 minutes or so, the friends of the patient came out of the side room and left the ward. I wondered what had happened in those 40 mins for the friends to feel they could leave. They came back looking a bit sprightlier for some food and fresh air. After a few minutes, the Butterfly Volunteer stepped out and said “They looked like they needed a bit of a break, so I offered to stay with their friend whilst they got some lunch”.
It’s this kindness, this compassion that really is the reason why I wake up and want to come to work every day; quite simply, the Butterfly Volunteers are angels. Time is the most valuable gift that we can give and the Butterflies give this gift every day, without expecting anything in return.”
Butterfly Volunteer Co-ordinator
Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01603 647942/01603 286060 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working in Partnership with www.annerobsontrust.org.uk