AS the NHS marks its 75th anniversary of providing exceptional care to its patients, a volunteer at The James Cook University Hospital will also be celebrating 75 years of her incredible life.
Susan Gardiner, who volunteers within the the chaplaincy team, looks after the spiritual needs of Catholic patients while also helping people from different faiths across various wards.
She joined the volunteering team in 2017 but had to pause volunteering due to COVID-19 but has rejoined the team this year.
Susan, 75, has a special and heartfelt reason to volunteer at the hospital.
She said: “Volunteering at James Cook is my way of giving back to the community as the staff here have nursed and looked after several members of my family with utmost care and love.
“It is satisfying to be able to make a difference in the community.”
Prior to her volunteering journey, she worked as a teacher for forty years mostly at the Newlands FCJ school in Middlesbrough.
Susan, who is also a eucharistic minister in her local parish in Nunthorpe, makes sure to serve the Holy Communion at every opportunity to any faithful Catholics in our hospital.
Besides shining a spiritual light in the lives of our patients, she is also the president of the local unit of The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, an international Christian voluntary network dedicated to tackling poverty in all its form including loneliness and bereavement.
She leads a group of volunteers who all strive to foster diverse and inclusive connections while supporting individuals and families.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to convert concerns into real actions and bring something positive to the person being helped.”