Meet our volunteers

Volunteer Andrew Smith


I volunteer on Sherrington Ward, where people have usually just had surgery or waiting for it. On occasion I am asked to see patients on other wards who are having a rough time or feeling a bit down, mainly because I’ve been in their shoes. I don’t see it as a chore at all to come into the hospital in my free time, because I get a lot out of it and I like the feeling of helping people. Sometimes I can offer a bit of an insight into what patients are going through because there may be a common problem, we both share. For example, I was talking to a patient who was struggling with accepting support from their family, being so independent before. This was a big change for me in my life too. I was given some good advice at the time by the rehab team, and I shared that advice with the patient. It was simple advice, but it stuck with me and helped me accept the support I needed at the time. I think listening to people is one of the most important things I can do as a volunteer. Everybody is different and people get stressed by different things, but sometimes I feel it helps to have been through a similar issue and show that it can get easier, that there is life after a brain injury, and it can be a happy life.


I have been volunteering for almost a year on the Pain Management Programme. I am a carer to my husband, a mum, and a grandmother! After being a patient myself back in 2017 I wanted to give something back as the programme changed and saved my life. I wanted to make time that was for me and to meet new people. It's allowed me to socialise outside of my caring role at home, which has had a huge impact on my personal wellbeing. Not only do I provide refreshments during break and lunch times, I support the patients by listening and allowing them to open up with their experiences. Sometimes all you need is to listen and offer a little guidance and advice to take make sure they take everything from the course.

Alan Pendleton


I have been volunteering for The Walton Centre for 23 years after taking part in the Pain Management Programme back in 1995 for four weeks. After gaining so much from the programme I wanted to give back. I volunteer six days a week with the PMP Team and find it so rewarding. When patients first arrive, it can be a very daunting experience. As an ex–patient myself, I'm able to meet and greet the patients upon arrival, ensuring they are fully supported and encourage them to participate. Beyond this, I also provide refreshments, lunches and a listening ear during their break times. Having been in their situation, they often feel they can talk to me, which allows me to give them encouragement to continue their journey of rehabilitation.

Page last updated: 22 July 2021