Variety of roles for our valued volunteers

Sam Hewins outside the William Harvey Hospital

Published on 10 June 2020

What do you do if you are in isolation at home and your breastfed baby is in hospital?

Step forward East Kent Hospitals volunteers! 

The team have been helping throughout the coronavirus outbreak, and collecting expressed milk from mums to take to their babies is just one of their many roles.

Sam Hewins, from Ashford, has collected and delivered breast milk, as well as essential medical equipment for patients. 

She said: “At the start of the outbreak, I just felt compelled to do something to help.

“It has been very well-organised, and everyone has been very grateful, and it feels like a worthwhile thing to do.” 

Sam, who is 54, has continued working as a children’s residential worker throughout the pandemic but still finds time to help our patients.

She said: “I collect equipment from the hospital and then I get to drive around Kent delivering it. 

“I have worked as a rep so I’m used to a lot of driving and planning routes, and it’s been lovely to be involved.

“Everything is done at a safe distance, of course, but I have been able to speak to people from the end of their drives or garden paths, and it’s been good fun. 

“The team have asked me to stay on and help even when things are more normal, so I’m looking forward to getting more involved.”

Mandy Carliell, head of patient and public involvement at the Trust, said the volunteers’ help had been invaluable.

She said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has stepped forward to help during the coronavirus outbreak. They have taken on a range of tasks supporting our frontline staff and our patients and we appreciate all their efforts.”