Student Volunteering Week: Meet Aliki

This Student Volunteering Week, we wanted to hear from our wonderful volunteers, without whom our work would not be possible. We asked Aliki Myrianidi, who joined us as a Dignity Champion Volunteer, to share her motivation for volunteering and her experiences of working with Healthwatch Central West London.

Why I chose to volunteer with Healthwatch Central West London…

I first met one of Healthwatch’s engagement officers at a Health & Wellbeing workshop organised by St. Mungo’s, and we started talking about the organisation’s work with health and social care patients in the local area. I found the discussion so interesting that I went to the volunteer officer to learn more. In particular, I found Healthwatch’s prioritisation of patients’ views, and the ways in which they take these views into consideration, very interesting. The work that they were doing was unlike anything that I had seen before, which made me want to get involved.

What my role involves…

My role is that of a Dignity Champion, which means helping people who receive health and social care in Central West London to be seen and heard. I visit care homes, health centres and hospital wards to speak to patients and care home residents about their experiences. I gather their thoughts and opinions, along with my own observations about the environment, as research for Healthwatch.

What I like the most about volunteering with Healthwatch…

Volunteering is a very rewarding experience – you meet people from all backgrounds, make new friends and learn new things. You can develop your skills through the mentoring and training provided, which in turn helps you to shape your community and build a better future for those around you.

The opportunities that volunteering has opened up for me…

Since volunteering as a Dignity Champion, I have been hired as a Dignity Champion Officer. My most recent work for the organisation has included writing reports for our visits last year, and arranging more visits for 2019. I now also train volunteers myself, and I recently provided volunteer training on dementia awareness. I enjoy being able to share my experiences and the skills that I have learnt with the new volunteers joining us at Healthwatch.