Nursing and volunteering

Edit:  Thank you!

I didn’t go to my appointment today due to being out and about at 10am, having gotten the time wrong.  Shall reschedule.   The fact that I’ve had Seroquel withdrawal itching is also a bit fumpf- I look like I’ve been scratching at my arms, rather than just scratching my arms because they’re so fecking itchy!  I also haven’t picked up my prescriptions and don’t intend to.  I don’t need it, as aside from a shit concentration span, I’m okay.  And it’s not just my opinion that I don’t need them, it’s psychiatric opinion, so no-one is going to make me pick it up. I was supposed to have a medication review and am pretty sure I’d have been pulled off anyway.  I’m using Nytol to get sleep,  but the effect is that it’s mostly helping me stop itching moreso than making me sleep.

My college have an agreement with City University that Birkbeck students get preference so this is all moving far faster than I thought it would.  I’m applying to Brighton and Belfast too, at this point, I’m quite happy to wave goodbye to London.

This is a, “Help!” post. I need to get some volunteer experience but I have absolutely no idea where to start.  I had thought about approaching MIND but if I’m going in the more general direction it might not be appropriate.  I’m emailing the London hospitals, too.  I also can’t afford to get home this Christmas and spend it with my family, so instead of going down to Robert’s parents- which will be nice, I know- I’m thinking of volunteering at a shelter so waiting for Crisis’ applications to open.  If I’m going to be in London, I’d rather spend Christmas Day trying to cheer people up a bit.  I think they take people on for the week before, too, so if I can do that, I will.

At Christmas, the St. Vincent de Paul charity truck used to come round our street and give out toys that had been donated.  I had a lot of massive headed dolls at Christmas.  It was quite exciting.

Does anyone with experience of this stuff have any tips?  Would be muchly appreciated.

23 Responses

  1. MIND is the obvious one: alternatively, if you can get a temporary / voluntary gig as an HCA that might also help?

  2. wow…so part of seroquel withdrawal is itching? that explains a lot! i recently went off and have been itching like mad. has this happened to you before?

  3. You could try .uk – gives you a break down of the volunteering opportunities in your area by postcode/type, and contact details xx

  4. I hope the itching stops soon.

    There may be some volunteering organisation at the college where you’re doing the access course. Sorry if I’m pointing out the obvious.

    Local primary schools like volunteers, although I’m not sure if that’s much use to you if you’re going into ADULT nursing.

    Have you phoned up any nursing homes near you? They might be a good place to start.

    Also, maybe it’s too mental-health-y, but how about Samaritans?

    You know a lot about the ins and outs of the benfits system, so you might be a good person to volunteer for CAB.

  5. How exciting! I hope one of the volunteering applications realises what an asset you’d be and snaps you up!
    Locally we have a couple of volunteering associations who co-ordinate volunteers and match them with agencies who need them. Maybe there is one local to you? I’m in Southampton and ours is called SVS imaginatively standing for Southampton Voluntary Services. Maybe you’d have similar? Then you can vary your volunteering?
    I would like to do crisis / shelter christmas cover one day when my kids older.
    I am a community responder working for the Ambulance Service and when I’m well enough I go to certain catA calls, chest pains, diff breathing, falls etc. Not to RTA’s nor kids. I carry oxygen, defib machine, pulse oxometer and first aid kit, I can give aspirin, cpr and auto defib and obviously CPR. It’s very worsewhile but stressful for me in my current state.
    I am not in rural area but community responders are more common there. Not sure if London Ambulance Service do it or if they accept people who don’t drive but the nature of the city of London may mean they do something different.

  6. Hey you should try your local volunteer bureu online i think its called volunteer england. Its a bit like a jobcentre for voluntary jobs. theres usually loads of stuff on there to do working with homless/ elderly/ disabled people good luck

  7. link for volunteer centres in London just copy and paste the urls on thier page for your nearest one. theres volunteer jobs listings on there 🙂

  8. I think that general adult nursing is the better choice; your options stay open that way.
    volunteering but not every organisation post vacancies here, welcome people young people, particularly those with benefit system experience, the three most obvious mentalist groups, and – your demonstrable skill with words would be welcome by any of the head offices. whoever your volunteer foe will be able to pay expenses such as travel. Advocacy of some sort the most obvious is CAB but given their lengthy training programme would probably not suit your needs. Living in London will give you plenty of choice, good luck with it all!

  9. I did some volunteering with St John Ambulance in the year before I started my adult nursing course. I found this very useful because some of the training means you are already familiar with the practical parts of the course- the more CPR and other emergency procedures are drummed into you the easier it is to do them in real life. Also once you are trained and go out on duty you get experience talking to lots of people and getting practice writing patient report forms means that writing nursing notes at the end of a shift is much easier. My university didn’t really teach us much first aid, which I always found ridiculous as even as a student nurse people were asking me what to do, so again SJA training helped there. You also get to choose the duties t go on- I’ve worked at lots of festivals, had paid work as a medic in a Carling Academy and seen some amazing marching bands.

    I was asked to leave my nursing course half way through as occy health thought the shift work would make me ill. I disagreed with that as I liked working shifts and wasn’t bothered by them but I had no choice.

    If you have any questions about being a student nurse + bipolar feel free to email me 🙂

  10. I second that about St John’s! I didn’t think about them, you don’t need transport and the perks sound good…

    Good luck with your applications!

  11. Hello 🙂 I’m doing an access course at the moment and took a while to decide on my chosen preference of nursing…
    I’ve researched both fields though… I started out volunteering on a general hospital ward, I did that through NHS volunteers-maybe they have something similar in London. It wasn’t anything too demanding, just helping out with errands but I got to experience hospital life!
    I also wanted experience in the mental health field so volunteer at a centre for people who have dementia, this has been a great experience and I found it on do-it-org. I wanted to gain further experience so I also volunteered at a street drinkers centre also found on
    I think I read in your post you wanted a job, so perhaps you could get a job in a caring role? However I think volunteer work is a great way to get experience, as there isn’t too much pressure time wise put onto you and the organisations you’re helping out with are usually really grateful for the help. :]

  12. Just thought there is also the Red Cross. What they do depends on the area you’re in- should be easy to find on their website- but they do a lot of things like visiting patients in hospital, giving hand massages, doing nails etc. All useful skills and should give you experience chatting to patients- again useful when nursing as it helps put people at ease and feel like you are treating them as an individual. You could also look at what Age UK (help the aged and age concern merged) are up to in your area.

  13. …also, do you get night sweats as a result of seroquel withdrawal?

  14. Do you remember how weird it was that we used to make up the st vincent de
    paul baskets in school then a week later we would get one ourselves? they still bring us biscuits!

  15. Good luck!!

    Good luck with the lack of meds. I hope things don’t go hay-wire again. Getting sleep sounds like a good idea, so hope the Nytol helps.

    Good luck with volunteering too! I hope you find something suitable. All of the suggestions above are good. I am sure there are hundreds of places that will be happy to have you on board!

    Good luck with applying for uni also. It’s very scary and stressful, but so worth it when you get that offer!

    So yes. Lots of luck going your way!

  16. Try a near old peoples home.

    For nursing they’re looking for a caring attitude.

  17. Have you thought about the Samaritans or Childline? I have done both in the past, the training you receive is amazing; the people you volunteer with are incredible and it means you could put to great use some of your ‘mental health’ skills and experience. Once you have completed the training you can volunteer for as many or as few shifts as you like. I used to do one night shift every 2 weeks and the sense of personal satisfaction knowing you are helping is just enormous…. Good Luck.

  18. I can’t quite remember how old you are – if you’re 25 or under, try checking out the volunteering opportunities with v.

    Their website’s and you can search by where you live and the kind of volunteering you want to do. There’s also a chance, if you do enough hours of volunteering, to get a nationally-recognised award for it, although there’s no obligation to commit to trying for the award.

    Another option is to look for either national or local charities that focus on any illness you’re interested in – a lot of them have volunteering opportunities to do with helping people with that illness, so it’d be a chance to learn about the illness and get experience in a caring role.

  19. I worked in a nursing home for a year before I was accepted to Kings in London and Greenwich. At the interviews they seemed to like the fact that I had some caring experience. So you could also try a nursing home too 🙂

  20. sudden additional thought, you know how to work computers – give or a local spin-off a try; I can see you mentoring old dears et al (my housing association has provided its sheltered housing schemes with wifi) and helping them enjoy being on-line. 🙂

  21. Samaritans is good, you can even do it by email. Also, any elderly home will be happy to have you.

    My personal thoughts – do something non-medical. It will take over your life soon enough.

  22. 50% Hospice
    50%Waitress-earn some cash.

    It would seem that I have a talent for sorting out other peoples lives.

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