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Poole Hospital volunteer notches up an incredible 42 years

Volunteer Myra Dines has achieved an amazing 42 years’ of service at Poole Hospital.

Most recently Myra has been helping out in the invaluable role of mealtime companion.

Mealtime companions help serve patients food and drink and encourage those who may need a little extra support at mealtimes.

Myra worked in recruitment for a London bank for 20 years but later moved down to Poole and took a role volunteering as a librarian at the hospital in 1975.

In 2012 Myra decided to take up a new role after she saw ward staff supporting and encouraging patients to eat at mealtimes on a trauma and orthopedic ward.

She decided to volunteer as a mealtime companion to help out these members of staff.

Myra visits patients every Monday lunchtime and says that she finds the role ‘interesting and rewarding’.

"I could see that some extra help at mealtimes would be welcomed on most wards,” Myra said. 

“Now, five years later, I am still enjoying being a mealtime companion and find the role both interesting and rewarding.”

Poole Hospital currently has more than 250 volunteers aged from 16 to 92, working in 43 wards and departments.

Myra would endorse her experience at Poole Hospital to anyone. She hopes her story can influence and inspire more people to volunteer.

“I would really recommend more people to train as mealtime companions,” she continued.

“Patients welcome your attention and express their gratitude; it is a truly fulfilling experience.” 

Joy Janati, voluntary services lead, said the hospital is incredibly grateful to Myra for her services.

“We greatly value the help of all our volunteers who give a tremendous amount of their time to the hospital helping patients, visitors and staff,” she said.

“Myra is an exceptional example of this and we’re very appreciative for her undoubted contributions to thousands of patients over the years.

“We’re grateful that Myra is supporting our campaign to find more volunteers and if anyone feels they can help regularly for at least six months, please do get in touch.”

Visit our volunteering page here to find out more about volunteering.

Myra Dines mealtime companion

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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