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Innovative partnership getting doctors of the future onto the wards of our hospital

Havering College students

A group of students with dreams of becoming doctors in the future are getting a great head start on their ambitions thanks to our Trust.

We’ve introduced a students in volunteering programme, inviting six A-level students from Havering Sixth Form College, who are on a medics enrichment programme, to volunteer on the hospital wards on a weekly basis over a period of six months.

The students, who are volunteering at Queen’s Hospital, are spending time talking to patients, helping with mealtimes and will also be arranging activities to help keep patients occupied.

One of the students, Ashleigh Christie, 16, of Chevington Road, Hornchurch, said: “It’s amazing to talk to people and find out them. Their days can be lonely as some don’t get many visitors, and I really enjoy being in a medical environment. It’s really helping me with my communications skills, in talking to patients.”

Gyrie Aliban Bocais, 17, of Upminster Road South, Rainham, added: “I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a kid and I’ve always wanted to work in neurology or be a paediatrician, however, this experience has broadened what I want to do and I’m even thinking about geriatrics now. It’s really interesting and I feel very lucky.”

All six are currently in their first year of A-levels, completing them in a range of scientific subjects, and maths. They are all hoping to be doctors.

History buff Rory Fitzroy, 17, of Junction Road, Romford, is planning his activities for elderly patients and due to his own love of the past, plans to bring in some historical tomes to get them talking.

He said: “I think bringing in some history books will be a real conversation starter for elderly patients, and we’ll be looking at pictures from different periods.

“I realised I wanted to be a doctor when I was doing my GCSEs, I’m really interested in the clinical side and how the body works. This has been a really good experience, and we’ve had lots of interaction with patients.”

Once the six-month placement ends, which is in addition to their college work, the whole group will be welcome to continue their volunteer role with the Trust.

This is the first in what is planned to be a series of groups of students having the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the hospital, and will also encourage more young people to get involved in volunteering.

The student volunteering programme will continue to expand and is open to all local schools and colleges. To find out more call 01708 504 188.

If you’d like to know more about volunteering at your local hospital, email volunteering@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk or visit our volunteering page.

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