Junior doctor encourages others to follow the volunteering trail at Harrogate District Hospital

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A junior doctor at District Hospital who started out as a volunteer on the wards is urging other people to consider local volunteering options.

Dr Mike Price is speaking during the national Volunteer Week (1-12 June) as one of the fantastic 480 volunteers at and District NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Price was one such volunteer for the Trust. He now works as an F1 doctor on the wards of Harrogate District Hospital, including Bylands – years after originally volunteering as a meal time volunteer there. He cemented his interest in medicine through work experience schemes and volunteering while completing his study at St Aidan’s CE High , Harrogate.

Harrogate Hospital doctor
Dr Mike Price took time for a quick photo in between a busy shift on Byland Ward

Mike, from , recognises the value of the time he spent volunteering within the hospital.

Mike said:

My time volunteering was incredibly useful in that it allowed me an insight into the busy workings of a hospital, confirming that it was an environment in which I could see myself working one day.

I’d advise anybody interested in finding out more about potential careers in medicine to spend time volunteering and carrying out work experience in hospital, as hospitals are busy environments. It’s a long degree that can be very challenging so it helps to know beforehand whether the end result might really be for you.

A proud Fiona Tomlinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator, has witnessed Mike’s career development from day one. She said: “It’s great to see him progress so well. He’s a fantastic asset to the Trust and was a prime example of the passion shown by a young volunteer. We currently have volunteers who come from all walks of life, ranging in age from 16-92.

Fiona said:

This year is an extended celebration of our wonderful volunteers. They deserve more than just a week to celebrate their hard work and dedication in making a difference for patients who need it the most.

Dr Price has a greater appreciation of volunteers since joining the paid workforce at the Trust. He believes that their presence enhances the patient experience dramatically.

Mike added:

Having extra volunteers at mealtimes, for example, means that patients who might struggle more with opening packets or even seeing the food on their plates are more able to enjoy their meals, and more staff are available to help.

The Trust currently has 480 volunteers actively helping throughout the hospital and in the community. On average, these volunteers give 2,000 hours a month of their time.

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