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Thank You to all our Volunteers!

8th December 2022

This week we celebrated International Volunteer Day, and this ‘Thank You Thursday’ we would like to recognise all of our volunteers who give their free time and tremendous experience to help patients and staff.

Jim Kilpatrick became a volunteer after having a liver transplant and speaks very fondly of his role.

“I have been volunteering at the Royal Victoria Hospital since September 2018.  I had a liver transplant in April 2018 and was supported before, during and after my operation by the RVH Liver Support Group, who have been providing patient and carer support across Northern Ireland since 1998.

After my transplant, I offered to help the group in any way I could and was invited to become an Adult Patient Carer.  It’s a great means of ‘giving something back’.  I speak confidentially to liver patients, or their carers face to face at the group’s helpdesk in RVH Outpatients, or by phone or other means.  For patients, being able to speak to someone who has already gone through a similar journey before them brings many opportunities for questions to be asked, and reassurances to be given.

My role is very fulfilling, with many patients providing some very encouraging feedback.  Being able to provide vulnerable patients, many in very poor health, with some confidence to face their fears, to explain what their transplant journey will look like, and to be on hand for them when they need to discuss how they feel, are the cornerstones of being my Patient Carer role.

In addition to my Adult Patient Carer responsibilities, I am now also the group’s chairman and treasurer.  I have always been someone who others can confide in – a trait essential in a volunteering role within the healthcare environment.  It has been humbling to see how comfortable patients are confiding in me their true feelings, their health condition and outlook, as well as their fears and concerns.”

Thank you Jim, and all of your volunteering colleagues, for all that you do!