In a series of blogs to commemorate the Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020, MFT is recognising nurses and midwives for the roles they play within and beyond the healthcare setting. Four R&I Nurses and Midwives offer insight into why they give up their free time to help others, and the benefits volunteering in their community brings to their lives.
Hello, my name is: Anila Sukumaran and I’m a Senior Clinical Research Nurse in the EMERGING Research Team at Manchester Royal Infirmary
I chose nursing as a profession, but it’s more than just a job to me, it’s a way of giving back to the community.
After graduating as a registered nurse in India, I moved to the UK joining MFT as a Cardiac Intensive Care Nurse in 2016. Last year, I moved to the Emerging research team that deliver clinical trials in the acute care settings of the Emergency departments and the Critical Care Units. Every patient deserves the highest quality of care and the research we deliver helps improve and influence current and evidence based care of the future.
I’ve been involved in a variety of different volunteering activities. Initially, I helped to deliver food and essentials to homeless people in Manchester every Sunday and since moving to the Swinton area, I now engage in volunteer work at my local church.
I love my neighbourhood and I could see the problems and struggles of families, children and older people around me. My local church practices kindness, caring and compassion to others without any discrimination in however small ways possible.
One of the activities I help to organise is a children’s fun day, known as Kid’s Club, once a month on a Saturday. The day will usually follow a certain theme (e.g. ‘Thankfulness’ or ‘First Aid’) and we will plan crafts, games and storytime based around it. Our aim is to make the children aware that they are precious, they are loved unconditionally and they can achieve great things in life.
We also spend time with older members of the community. We invite people to church on a Sunday morning to join us for a tea and chat, singing old Sunday school songs – which they very much enjoy – and a gospel message to inspire everyone. Along with my husband, I visit some of these older members of the community in their homes; find some time to talk to them and hear their stories – which is often mutually beneficial and enlightening.
Many of my nursing skills have come to my aid whilst working within the community. Some of them are organising skills, listening and responding compassionately, anticipating difficulties and preparing for them, knowing our own limitations and asking help when we need it etc.
The confidence and sense of community and belonging volunteering has given me clearly reflects in my practice as a nurse too. If you are thinking about volunteering, it’s an excellent idea. Let your inner light shine! Each of your little positive thoughts counts. Bring them out to action, and see your light showing someone else the way to life!
Hello, my name is: Linda Peacock and I’m a Research Midwife based at Saint Mary’s Hospital
I became interested in midwifery when my family and friends became mothers. Becoming a parent whether it is for the first time or the next is something really special and I wanted to be part of that.
I joined Saint Mary’s Hospital in 1995 and I have been able to work in all areas of midwifery. For the last 10 years I have worked as a Research Midwife for the Maternal and Fetal Health Research department where I have day to day responsibility for recruitment to, and the running of, research studies that improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
In my free time, I am a keen gardener and love working outside, growing things and enjoying nature. I am very interested in local history and love to meet people, so it seemed entirely appropriate to get involved with a local group called the Heaton Mersey Village Conservation Group, which cares for and promotes the green spaces in the locale.
I have been a volunteering since 2009, but working full-time with a family means it tends to be one day at the weekends during winter however in the summer I am often in the park several evenings a week, watering and weeding the flower beds. I will be planting and growing from March onwards, using my allotment as a plant nursery.
I love the Victorian park, the community orchard and the green corridors that link the spaces together. It’s an area of historical interest and beauty in a surprisingly urban setting. Seeing the public old and young enjoying the spaces, getting exercise, meeting people for social time and being in nature is lovely.
I enjoy the physical work and getting my hands dirty. The opportunities to see wildlife are many, from butterflies to hawks, frogs and foxes and it really is quite magical to watch swallows swooping and gliding over the common to catch insects on a summer evening.
Volunteering is a relaxing and rewarding experience that helps me to decompress, unwind from my job and is good for my physical and mental health. It connects me to people of all ages in a positive way which mirrors and reinforces the relationships I have with women, families and colleagues in my professional life.
I would definitely say try it. It has the potential to connect you to your community in a very positive way that can make you and the people around you happier.