‘Grateful’ family volunteer at hospital

Posted on in The trust

The family of a grandmother who was discharged from hospital after recovering from coronavirus are among more than 150 people that have volunteered to help South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during the pandemic.


Eileen, Ian, Lorna and Grace (left to right)

Eileen Connor, of Redcar, was taken to The James Cook University Hospital after she fell ill while self-isolating and was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The mum-of-ten spent 13 days being treated for the virus before being discharged just in time for her 80th birthday.

As a thank you to those who cared for Eileen, her daughter, Lorna Goodchild, a physiotherapist and former employee at the trust, decided to look into how she could volunteer and help in her local NHS hospital.

She said: “The whole family were so grateful for every little thing that was done for my mum while she was in hospital; the care was second to none.

“We felt really reassured to know that she was in safe hands and receiving the best possible care.

“Once mum was discharged we really wanted to give something back to those who had helped her and rather than just say thank you we decided to show our gratitude by volunteering.”

After signing up as a volunteer for the hospital, Lorna’s husband Ian, who usually works offshore and 24-year-old daughter Grace, decided to sign up as runners for the trust as well.

The trio now spend four days a week transporting samples from wards to the labs as well as supporting patients and staff.

Grace, who is a final year mechanical engineering student at Northumbria University, said: “I’m really enjoying volunteering as a runner. It’s nice to speak to people outside of our household and offer support to those at the hospital.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the NHS workers at James Cook Hospital not just on behalf of my Nan but on behalf of everyone else they’ve helped.”

During COVID-19 157 volunteers have signed up through the trust’s therapeutic support programme and have been providing valuable support to patients and staff across the trust’s sites as well as promoting positive engagement and contributing to a positive hospital experience for everyone.