Volunteer Glenn takes appreciation in his stride

Volunteer Glenn Ellis with staff from Community and Oral Health’s Brighton Health Campus

Volunteer Glenn Ellis sees a lift in patients when they talk about their life. Pictured here with staff from Community and Oral Health’s Brighton Health Campus

While Glenn Ellis has been a Community and Oral Health (COH) volunteer for only a short time, the appreciation being expressed by our patients and staff has been coming thick and fast.

Glenn, who has been volunteering at the Brighton Rehabilitation Unit at the Brighton Health Campus over the past few months, has already built great connections and is improving the care provided.

“I was interested in becoming a volunteer following my mum being in a nursing home,” he said. “I could see how important it was for residents to have that extra support, to gain new connections and to have opportunities to have conversations.”

“I really enjoy going around the rehabilitation ward and catching up with many of the patients, having a friendly chat, finding out about their life and providing some company while they are recovering.

“I see a lift in people when they talk about their life.

“It was beneficial to me to have Leanne available to provide me with a supportive orientation and induction to the rehabilitation unit.

“This gave me the confidence to communicate with rehabilitation staff and the tools to engage with clients successfully. I wasn’t thrown in the deep end going into unknown territory.”

Leanne Ngaropo with Glenn Ellis

COH Community Connections Officer Leanne Ngaropo with Glenn Ellis

While the Brighton local is having a pause from his work as a train guard, Glenn was happy to give up some of his spare time and join the volunteer crew at COH.

COH Community Connections Officer Leanne Ngaropo said people choose to volunteer for a variety of different of reasons. The CCO role must determine what the organisational service needs are and match volunteers to service needs accordingly.

“Having a mutually beneficial relationship is important for both the organisation and the volunteer,” she said.

“We want our volunteers to go home each day feeling satisfied and knowing their contribution has helped enhance the quality of stay to our patients, and also made a positive difference to our services.

“Volunteers have the time to sit and actively listen to people’s stories and have meaningful conversations that improve the patient’s experience.”

As a volunteer, Glenn works very closely with the social work team, team leader and Brighton Rehabilitation Unit staff to identify patients who would benefit from having some engagement and social connection.

Glenn’s involvement so far has ranged from one-on-one company and companionship; offering books and magazines of interest; providing word searches and crosswords; to having an enjoyable and rewarding outing to the District Men’s Shed (located on campus).

COH services, like the Brighton Rehabilitation Unit provide an alternative to hospital treatment and are a way for people to get the support they need to avoid being re-admitted to hospital.

If you are interested in joining the COH volunteer program to provide support, companionship and care for our clients, patients and residents and their loved ones, please complete our expression of interest form.

The Brighton Rehabilitation Unit provides a range of therapies to more than 700 people each year for people who need to regain function and independence following a serious injury or illness, and a hospital stay.

Testimonial from a patient

Following is some feedback that was received from a former client of the Brighton Health Campus Rehabilitation Unit about Glenn Ellis.

“I have been a patient in the Brighton Rehabilitation Unit for around 11 weeks, and I was introduced to volunteer Glenn about six weeks ago.

“Glenn introduced himself and explained the purpose of his role as a volunteer and made me feel immediately comfortable.

“From the time I met Glenn, I had something to look forward to. I looked forward to having Glenn visit me on Monday mornings.

“I also had the opportunity to have an outing from the ward to the Sandgate and Districts Men’s Shed, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This opportunity was a ‘huge plus’ as it provided me with opportunity to better myself.

“I have a background as a builder, so I felt I could also add value and could contribute to what the Men’s Shed offers.

“Volunteers like Glenn are essential and provide good value to the care provided. Having someone to engage with face-to-face is extremely beneficial for people’s health and wellbeing.

“Glenn is a great representative to Community and Oral Health, and you are extremely lucky to have such a professional volunteer onboard. Glenn’s weekly visits were of great value and benefit to me.”

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