Barts Volunteers

Get involved, help others, make a difference.
Barts Volunteers, part of Barts Charity, a dedicated charity which supports five hospitals making a crucial difference to hundreds of patients.

193 GoodGymers have supported Barts Volunteers with 21 tasks.

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Tower HamletsCommunity mission
Laura WilliamsJames TattersfieldEmma JonesNirmay Sriharsha SingaramGeorgia KoronkaDavid RamptonLobo

A re-ward-ing experience

Monday 9th October 2023

Written by Laura Williams

It was a gorgeous evening to be heading back to the Royal London Hospital to be reunited with the Barts Volunteers team.

Our task tonight

We met in the café area, adjacent to A&E, to be briefed by Nancy on tonight’s activities. It was a busy night of activity: Tom and Ricardo were taking us up to the 13th and 14th floors to help stock the ward trolleys with everything from activity packs to colouring pencils for patients.

We were also distributing evening newspapers and puzzle books to patients on both floors.

Our team tonight

Our team slowly grew: we welcomed James and Nirmay for their first Monday evening tasks in Tower Hamlets - and Georgia for her first ever GoodGym! (Huge shout-out to Nirmay who came up with tonight’s pun).

And as for other firsts, our Ricardo was not only an active GoodGymer this evening, now a well established Barts Volunteer, he was also helping Tom and Nancy to lead the task!

It was decided we should take the stairs to the 14th floor as tonight’s fitness fix. A speedy (fairly painless?) climb meant that we weren’t too far behind Tom and the trolley on arrival at the 14th floor.

And so to our task...

Tom and Ricardo wasted no time in showing us the ward trolley ropes. With every base covered from combs to miniature toothpastes and headphones, the trolley inventory is thorough.

Dividing into two teams – one on trolley replenishment and the remainder of the team heading out onto the wards – we covered the whole of the 14th floor before heading down to the 13th floor.

It was a lively and surprisingly fast-paced task. Tom and Ricardo did a brilliant job of navigating corridor after corridor; ward after ward, ensuring we headed only to suitable bays, and the team all did a great job in offering papers and magazines to many appreciative patients and relatives. This is was a feelgood task at its finest.

The timesped by (even by Tower Hamlets standards) and it was 8:30 by the time we were saying our cheerios to Tom and Ricardo, and heading out into a surprisingly warm October night.

What an evening. Well done to everyone involved.

Until next time.

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Tower HamletsCommunity mission
LoboJohnnyOliver RockettDavide FeleppaStephanieEva Merkel

The One That Got Survey

Monday 15th May 2023

Written by Laura Williams

A good sized group of GoodGymers gathered in the main hospital reception at the Royal London this evening.

We were joining the Barts Volunteers Team for our monthly activity, headed up by Nancy, Tom and Richard.

In previous visits, we have been making up activity packs for the Patient and Family Contact Centre, as well delivering London evening newspapers to the wards, and completing Friends and Family Test (FFT) surveys on the wards.

This evening, GoodGymers who arrived early accompanied Tom to a busy A&E department, to offer patients a newspaper.

Meanwhile Nancy and Richard welcomed other GoodGymers as they arrived, completing sign-up and briefing on tonight’s task.

At around 7:15, the team were ready to go...

One team accompanied Richard to the Paediatric Ward to complete the FFT surveys. (This is the third time GoodGymers have participated in this task on this ward, chatting to young patients and their families, gathering essential feedback for the Trust).

The second team headed to two wards with Tom and Nancy: first to the Elderly Care Wards, and then to the Trauma Ward. Again, it was good to be given the opportunity to connect with patients, and help out with these these important conversations for the hospital.

At shortly after 8, we met up again in the light, airy reception area to chat about how we’d got on; feedback to Nancy, and enjoy some well deserved chocolate (courtesy not only of the Barts Volunteers team, but also of Raleigh!).

After saying our farewells, we headed out in different directions: some walking, some cycling, some pub-ing…

Until next time.

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Tower HamletsCommunity mission
AbieTJRohanEva Merkel
Davide Feleppa

Evening (Above) Standard

Monday 17th April 2023

Written by Laura Williams

It was a lovely evening to gather in the bright, spacious atrium of the RLH this evening for our monthly visit to the hospital with the Barts Volunteers team.

Background to our task

We've been coming to the Hospital to join Nancy and the brilliant Barts Volunteers team for a while now.

For 2023, we have set up monthly visits to the hospital, in which our tasks have focused on two areas: making up activity packs and menu cards for the Patient and Family Contact Centre, and visiting the wards to gather essential feedback from patients and families.

Tonight’s teams were divided into three: one remained in the Atrium, under the careful eye of Nancy, to make up activity packs, while a further two teams headed upstairs with Richard and Tom to visit the wards, gathering vital feedback and distributing newspapers to patients.

The activity pack team worked at a fantastic pace, buoyed on by Nancy’s film quiz (“guess the artist and film to this song”) and a few tasty Lindt.

The ward teams also worked at a fast pace, engaging in many useful and meaningful conversations with patients of all ages.

Essential survey feedback was gathered, which helps the Trust in delivering effective, current, care and treatment while copies of evening London newspapers were distributed to patients, always a much-appreciated, well received bit of reading by all accounts .

Finishing at varying times gave us an opportunity to enjoy a catch-up with one another, and with the Barts Volunteers team, finding out more about what we will be involved with in the months ahead.

At just gone 8:15, we were deciding where and how to pose for this week’s group shot, headed up by Ritchie!

A huge team effort tonight! Special shout-outs to:

  • Abie, whose first GoodGym event it was. Great to see you Abie, and hope to see you again soon!

  • Abie and Alice who came up with tonight's pun.

  • And Olivia, who reached her 100th good deed at tonight’s task (Olivia reached her 50th good deed at this same task at the end of October!). Congratulations Olivia!

Another brilliant Monday evening with the team!

Next week, we head to a brand new task in Columbia Road, to join some great gardening activity!

Until then.

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Tower HamletsCommunity mission
Grace Tribe
Ritchie XavierJohnnySarah Morrison

Barts and Crafts

Monday 6th March 2023

Written by Laura Williams

  • Teams were divided into two this evening, for a fantastic couple of activities at the Royal London hospital.

  • We were joining the Barts Volunteers team, to help assemble activity packs, and distribute surveys.

  • Tonight's report was written by Task Force members, Áine and Fiona (who also came up with tonight's pun).

Writes Áine, "Laura and Richard gathered a GoodGym gang of 9 to head to the 7th floor and the Paediatrics ward. The group split into pairs and after a quick intro from Richard, each pair had a chat with a patient and their family to get some feedback and fill in a form. This process is essential so that the Trust can gather feedback from all of their patients.

The conversations were wide ranging and interesting: Simon even recruited one dad to join GoodGym. We covered all wards on the 7th floor in good time, (including a detour to retrieve two GoodGymers from 7D) with the group managing to return safely with completed surveys to our arts and crafts comrades for a final group photo."

Writes Fiona, "Downstairs the activities group worked diligently to put together small craft packs, which can bring a smile and help patients to feel calmer and pass the time, particularly during longer hospital stays. The group also made up packs of food- themed communication cards. These are a vital tool at mealtimes for patients for whom English may not be their first language, or for those who have difficulties with hearing or speaking.

All this was accompanied by an epic soundtrack of film songs, provided by the Barts team, to motivate us through. Top points go to Sree and Mona who were strongest at guessing the artist and film!"

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Tower HamletsCommunity mission
HeatherMiraAine HesterRahulNina JhatakiaShobana Sivalingam

Service with a File

Monday 31st October 2022

Written by Laura Williams

It was fantastic to be making our way back to the Royal London this evening, to join the team from Barts Volunteers for a busy evening in the volunteer offices, at John Harrison House.

One by one the GoodGymers joined, making their way from a drizzly Whitechapel Road to the hospital’s main reception where we were warmly greeted by Nancy, Tom and Richard from Barts Volunteers.

Chocolate and tunes

Making our way over to John Harrison House, home to many GoodGym tasks over the years now, we proceeded to head to the first floor, where our task awaited us, along with the best Halloween playlist and a large tub of Roses.

Initially divided into three teams, two teams, including first time GoodGymer Shobana (welcome Shobana!), focused on the activity packs and activities, sorting these items on behalf of the Patient and Family Contact Centre, while the third team embarked on the vast task of compiling new patient feedback files. These consisted of patient feedback questionnaires in many languages, housed in individual files for every hospital ward.

These questionnaires play an essential role in helping the hospital receive and respond to the feedback given by all patients.

GoodGymers devised various individual systems, rehydrating regularly, and replenishing glycogen stores with Cadbury’s finest.

Every so often the laughter and chatter was punctuated with some group song identification, as we figured out our faves from Britney and Shakira’s top tracks.

To say the time flew was an understatement.

The Final Countdown

Our last final pics captured the last file being stacked to the backdrop of The Final Countdown and lots of waving hands as we posed for the final song of the night, We Are The Champions.

Our final fantastic celebrations included a shout-out of shout-outs for Southwark’s Olivia’s 50th good deed, and our very own Fiona’s 50th good deed too.

What a wonderful night.

Until next time.

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Tower HamletsGroup run
LeoIvyJohnnyChris BurnsRosieBella Taylor

Pack to the Future

Monday 16th May 2022

Written by Laura Williams

Tonight’s run saw us returning to the Royal London Hospital for a couple of really great tasks!

Plenty of planning had been undertaken by the brilliant Barts Volunteers team to ensure we were distributed throughout the hospital as efficiently as possible, tackling the most time-sensitive tasks.

Why were we here?

Resources are as stretched as usual at this huge, much-loved hospital, and so pruning the roses and litter-picking outside the Dental area proved a great bit of activity catch-up in these hospital grounds.

Meanwhile, the newly established Patient and Family Contact Centre had mountains of content to be made up for the new, soon-to-be-renamed Dignity and Activity Trolleys for the wards.

(This department was established during the pandemic as a vital resource for friends and families to stay connected to loved ones in hospital.

Having proved effective and popular, this service is set to stay, and the new activity packs we were preparing are to ensure patient needs are met as much as possible.

Impromptu stays, longer stays, admissions far from home all mean that patients sometimes need access to additional items, such as sanitary products and razors, or even art and craft activity to help them remain occupied and stimulated).

And so to work…

Teams were promptly dispatched out to the John Harrison with Barts Volunteer team member, Mbemba, while the team making up the hospital packs headed ‘round with Tom to meet the dynamic Emma.

The preparation was second-to-none, as always, and Emma wasted no time in assigning each member a task, leaving no stone unturned when it came to briefing (including the interesting fact that as this was an office, and not a clinical environment, face masks were optional).

Toothpaste tubes were stuffed into bags of 20; ditto shower gel and toothbrushes. Felt and glitter were sorted into piles; activity cards bagged up or filed. It was go, go, go.

Meanwhile the gardening team were busy attending to the roses, cutting back the grass and seeing off any rogue litter. Once finished, Mbemba brought the team inside and so we finished up a 12-strong team racing to get as much as we could done in the final few minutes.

Until next time

Despite having run over, the time had flown by!

We said our goodbyes to Emma, Tom and Mbemba, and headed out to the sunny, warm streets of Whitechapel, where we formed two groups: The Sporty Squad, who chose to run straight back to base in Bethnal Green, and The Thirsty Squad, who headed home at a more leisurely pace, via the London Hospital Tavern.

What a great night – well done, everyone.

Next week...

...we’ve been asked to head to the Hollybush Estate to offer some serious weeding help...

Until then.

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