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Help someone in hospital. Why we need mealtime volunteers

11 June 2015

When we are in hospital and have to stay it can mean everyday things are just not there anymore. Everything from getting dressed and eating can feel different. The nurses and staff will do their best to make you comfortable, but it's still not like home.

One way we are helping is by having volunteers from our community come and help people during meal times. Meal Time Assistants work for a few hours a week to help people open food packaging, help people with their food and to talk to patients during their hospital stay. Research has shown that it can make a real difference to how someone feels and how they get better.

Dr Helen Roberts works with older people on wards at Southampton General Hospital and came up with the project, "It is really rewarding for patients and volunteers, and it may only be a few hours a week but we know it can really improve people's appetite when they are with us and that helps them on the road to recovery."

"We need around a hundred volunteers to be able to run the project. Many people are retired, some work and pop in during the evening or before work, and some are young people who want to go into nursing or medicine."

If you are interested and can spend a few hours a week, then get in touch with our volunteer service and ask about being a meal time volunteer.

You can email or if you want to know more go to the hospital website

Patient and public involvement is vital to the success of the CLAHRC.

We would be pleased to hear from you if you are interested in becoming involved in our research and implementation.

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