After retiring in 2011, former nurse Frances has continued to go over and above for her local hospital in a number of different ways as a volunteer.
A familiar face in the foyer at North Devon District Hospital, as well as at Bideford Community Hospital, Frances regularly gives up her time at both hospitals to support patients, and to help raise money for the Royal Devon Hospitals Charity.
“I really enjoy meeting different people and it’s nice to know that you are helping others,” said Frances.
“I volunteer a couple of days a week and often get stopped in the street by people saying they recognise me.
“It’s nice to feel appreciated too and the charity team always welcome me with a smile and a cup of tea, and sometimes even a biscuit!”
Frances, originally from Paracombe, but who now lives in Fremington, started her volunteering journey in a Lynton bookshop after retiring from Barnstaple pharmaceuticals firm Arthur H Cox and Co in (now Accord Healthcare) in 2011.
One of North Devon District Hospital’s original nurses when the hospital first opened in 1979, she returned to Raleigh Park as a volunteer in 2017, helping to feed and take books to patients staying on the wards.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, Frances returned to meet and greet patients at North Devon District Hospital and Bideford Community Hospital. She also began helping out in the hospital charity’s Rose Lane shop, and started manning the charity’s stand in the hospital foyer in 2022.
“I really enjoy volunteering and wouldn’t do it if I didn’t,” added Frances.
“If anyone has a few hours to spare and is thinking about volunteering, I definitely recommend that they give it a try. There are so many different ways you can help and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are giving something back to your local hospital.”
To find out more about becoming one of our volunteering hospital heroes, visit www.royaldevoncharity.org.uk/volunteering