Name: Alexandra Urquhart
Course: Biomedical Science - Year 2
Volunteer Role: Community Volunteer
"My interpersonal skills are the strongest they have ever been as I have the chance to talk to people from all walks of life"
What are your main duties and how do they benefit others?
I currently volunteer in a couple of different roles which allows me to gain a lot of experience in different areas. As a ward helper at St Oswald’s Hospice, I deliver food and teas and coffee to residents and their family members. Whilst on shift, I am also on hand to provide support to anyone who needs it and to talk to people should they wish to interact and/or get things off their chest. As a mental health advocate with VoiceAbility, I am in contact with people who are to be supported by the service and help them in being able to get the help and support they need - whether that’s contacting their GP or giving them a call to see how they are. In both of these roles, I strive to ensure the people I am supporting feel comfortable, supported and relaxed - especially given their personal circumstances. Being able to help people, and support doctors and nurses too, in these roles has given me a very unique insight into an area of care that work experience might not have been able to delve into. I also really enjoy being able to talk to people from all walks of life and to help alleviate any stresses or pain. I also volunteer at the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology which has been a different experience as it has allowed me to exercise authority when needed to ensure people are following social distancing guidelines and to keep everyone safe.
I am about to undergo training to become a volunteer vaccinator with St John Ambulance which will allow me to administer the COVID-19 vaccine which I am very excited to do as it will make a positive impact to people, especially those who have been shielding for months and haven’t seen any family members.
What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I thoroughly enjoy being able to make a positive impact on people - even if it just for a fleeting moment over a cup of coffee, being able to enact a positive feeling and/or memory is something II do not take lightly and continue to be honoured to do.
What skills have you learnt and used during your volunteering?
My interpersonal skills are the strongest they have ever been as I have the chance to talk to people from all walks of life and converse with them all on different levels about different topics.
Holding down some of these roles has lead to become a shift leader which has given me experience in leading people and achieving the best outcome possible.
What are your future career aspirations?
I hope to go onto study Post-Graduate Medicine or a masters in Physician Associate and having volunteered in the organisation I have, has given an incredibly rich, in depth analysis into certain aspects of healthcare, and this will be invaluable to my understanding of the role I wish to go into.
What inspires you to volunteer?
The chance that I can make a positive impact to someone’s day or help out colleagues the best I can.
What is your favourite volunteering memory?
Having family members of loved ones thank me for supporting their relative or themselves and going out of their way to do so.
Why do you love volunteering?
The feeling of elevation at knowing I’m making a positive impact is one of the main things I love about volunteering.