Sam, why did you choose to support the NHS?

I chose to support the NHS at Stoke Mandeville Hospital because I felt the free time I had would be best utilised by helping where it is needed the most. I’m not the type of person who can stand by and watch as others are hard at work. I believe this stems from my time spent serving in the military, you learn very soon that the best way to get a difficult task completed is when everyone pulls together.

Tell us about the role you are doing? What do you enjoy about your role with the NHS?

Firstly, I help deliver food and refreshments to the NHS staff working on the COVID-19 hospital wards. This role alone is hugely rewarding, the staff are always extremely grateful and it is clear to see they are in need of these little pick me ups to help them in their roles.

Secondly, I’m a marshal for the COVID-19 vaccinations in the evenings. I take a register of each person who attends for their vaccination and hand them a consent form to complete prior to them entering the building where the vaccine is administered. The NHS team thank me for my time and they are grateful as the evening shifts can get busy. It’s interesting to meet so many people from the hospital and see so many more sides to the work that is going on there.

How is your role with the NHS different to your role at Nuffield Health?

My temporary role in the NHS is in some ways similar to my work at Nuffield Health. Both jobs require good communication and social skills, and both jobs are about helping people (although I don’t tend to wear shorts nearly as much as I do at Nuffield Health!). The satisfaction of helping people and making a difference in some way is just the same.

Is working for the NHS different to what you expected? If so, in what way?

When initial talks started about working for the NHS during our furloughed period, I agreed without any preconceptions as to what the work would involve. No matter what job it is that you are asked to do, be it great or small, it needs doing, you are helping and there might not be anyone else that has the time to do it.

What would you say to someone else at Nuffield Health who is thinking of supporting the NHS?

In our current circumstances and the way this virus has dominated our lives for the past year, your help, no matter what form that comes in, will be greatly appreciated. Once we have this virus under control and we return to our normal lives, you can proudly say you played a small part in getting everyone there.

What are the people you are working with like?

The people I am working with at the hospital are all extremely professional and very flexible. I have never felt that they don't appreciate me being there and they are always happy to answer any questions I have.

Are you working with other Nuffield Health secondees or people who don’t usually work for the NHS?

I am aware that others from Nuffield Health have also volunteered at the hospital and are around doing their part to help. However, I haven’t met them yet. I do work alongside others who are on furlough from restaurants and bars, they are all very kind and seem to be thrilled to be helping in any way they can. It's inspiring to know that amidst all the uncertainty and worry people still have the desire to help where they can. The appreciation we all receive from the NHS staff and patients is a great feeling, it goes a long way to motivate us all to do our bit and help as much as we possibly can.