The community response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been outstanding, with many members of the LSE community getting involved in their local area. Léna Petit (MSc in Criminal Justice Policy) has been volunteering with St Mary’s Hospital in London as part of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Volunteering program.
When the pandemic started, I had the feeling that I needed to do something and try to help. As I have no medical skills, I searched for opportunities to support the staff during these unsettling and hard times. I found out that St Mary’s hospital was launching a COVID-19 Crisis Response Volunteering campaign and signed up immediately. I was already volunteering before with women overcoming drug addictions, but I never had the chance to volunteer in a hospital.
Whilst volunteering at St Mary’s, the group was in charge of delivering meals for the staff. We used to provide lunch, and diner, which will still continue but will decrease as the pandemic is now under control. Whilst the plan was only to deliver meals, we also had to deliver an incredible amount of fabulous donations. The hospital opened a ‘free shop’ to store these donations and distribute them amongst the staff when we were not distributing it ourself.
Volunteering was amazing. Alongside making me realise how complicated a hospital logistic is, it also made me realise that a hospital is nothing else than a big family. The staff is really nice to us, which only motivated us to go beyond necessary and bring more joy where we could. I felt like I had a purpose, and I was making a small but helpful difference in this pandemic. Volunteering will slow because we receive fewer donations, but I’ll keep on trying to make this difference in the few shifts I’ll still do, and in everyday life.
If I had one thing to advise about volunteering, it is to try. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never stop!
If Léna has inspired you to volunteer, check out our blog on COVID-19 volunteering or one of our other 100+ ongoing opportunities. You can also book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.