Local NHS volunteers are helping patients at Ninewells Hospital get into the festive spirit.
The generous group have been holding special arts and crafts sessions for people living on the wards, helping them to make Christmas cards and enjoy some seasonal tunes.
The Tele has previously met some of the locals who give up their time to help out on the hospital’s concourse – and this week we were invited to join their latest class.
Caitlyn Scott, 21, has been volunteering for more than a year, having also helped out in Ninewells’ discharge lounge.
The West End student said: “I’ve been volunteering all my life and wanted to get some experience in hospital.
“In the discharge lounge you’d sit and chat and make teas and coffees for people – it’s just for an afternoon but you feel like you’re making a difference.
“I’m still doing it now because I feel like I’m helping.
“You know as much as the nurses would like to sit and chat with patients it’s impossible. So you feel like part of the team.”
Nicki Hedley, senior charge nurse on Ward 6, praised the volunteers and insisted everything they do is “fantastic”.
She said: “They’re getting something from it and they’re totally committed to what they’re doing.
“You can see the difference it makes – ideally we would have the time (to chat) but we’re going from one bed to the next.
“They are absolutely part of the team.”
Amy McCoy, 21, started volunteering after hearing about the scheme through Caitlyn.
“We come on to Ward 6 every Monday from 2-5pm and do arts and crafts but it’s really more a social thing,” she said.
“Not everyone around the table will make something, but people often come over and just enjoy the company.
“For me it’s rewarding because something so simple as having someone to talk to can be such a big, meaningful thing.”
Katherine Flack, 18, from Broughty Ferry, volunteers at The Brae and works in a pharmacy. She harbours hopes of studying medicine next year.
She said: “You get a lot of choice of what you want to do, and where, as an NHS volunteer.
“I’m still quite new to it but I find it so rewarding.
“There’s a lady I chat to who gets so excited when we come in.
“It’s good experience and we’re always doing something different so I’m learning too.
“You hear all these amazing stories from people on the ward. It’s a privilege to speak to them.”
Patients on Ward 6 barely needed prompting when asked to share their views on the volunteers.
Alexandria Murray, 79, said: “It’s really nice when they’re here.
“This is my first time joining in but I’m really enjoying it.
“I like to knit and things so it’s good to keep my hands busy.”
Betty Hewitt, 90, was putting the finishing touches to a card as she beamed: “I’ve been here for about five weeks now and this is absolutely great.
“It makes a really big difference – it makes you feel human.”
n NHS Tayside is always looking for new volunteers. Call Val Ewan on 01382 740136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the opportunities available.