Amanda’s story

30 Oct 2018 Oliver.kelham

Amanda, who has mild learning disabilities, has been a volunteer with us now for two years and has worked in a variety of different settings and roles. She supports us for at least two hours, every week – that’s well over 200 hours in total.

‘We’re learning from Amanda as much as she’s learning from us’ Fiona Spence, Equality and Diversity Coordinator

She has volunteered with our Macmillan Rehabilitation & Support Team phoning service users to remind them to attend the Support Group, and at our Urgent Care Centre and Walk in Centre, making sure that people feel welcomed and safe in what can be quite a stressful environment. She would always greet people with a smile and a hello, and helped with any concerns and queries they had when the reception was busy. She was also very good at keeping the area nice and tidy, and helping those who had seen a health professional to give feedback on their experience.

She has also helped our Public and Patient Empowerment team, by helping to gather and input feedback from people who use our services, helping us to learn from and improve the service we provide. She has even supported us on a number of local external events – such as Learning Disabilities Celebration Day and Volunteer Celebration Day.

But most recently Amanda has been helping to make our volunteering information accessible to those who have additional needs – by creating easy read materials.  Her personal experience with this has been invaluable and now word has got out how good she is, she has been approached by Healthwatch Bristol. She’s also helps to deliver ‘making our information accessible’ training to Bristol Community Health staff alongside our Learning Disabilities Speech and language therapists. Amanda’s aim is to deliver this course entirely on her own very soon – so watch this space.

And, it doesn’t end there. Amanda is attending and supporting us with The Equality Delivery System for the NHS – EDS2, a tool designed to help NHS organisations, in partnership with local stakeholders, to review and improve their performance for people with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010, and to support them in meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty.

‘Amanda has held a number of volunteer roles at Bristol Community Health, bringing to each one her warmth, kindness and can-do approach. Amanda has really helped us to focus on how we can make our communications accessible for people with a learning disability. Amanda is absolutely part of the team at Bristol Community Health and we’re forever grateful for all that she does to support our patients and our services.’ Matthew Areskog, Head of Patient Public Empowerment

Inspired you? Check out current volunteer roles here.