Simeon volunteers at Guy’s Hospital in London

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Jun 5, 2024

Simeon Nichols, a Consultant in the East Consultancy team at NECS, recently volunteered at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Chaplaincy as part of NECS’s Volunteering Programme.

The Volunteering Programme is part of the NECS 2025 Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and encourages NECS colleagues to volunteer one day per year with a charity or local community group of their choice, supporting good causes in the communities we support. Volunteering can be undertaken as an individual or in teams.

Simeon shares his volunteer experience:

“As a business consultant and Christian, I wanted to spend more time in patient-facing environments to gain further insight into their experience in hospital and the holistic care on offer. I was keen to observe the spiritual care given to patients in a large hospital, to reflect on its benefits and practices, and to play a small part in improving this for them with the opportunity I was given to volunteer.

“I reached out to multiple Trust Chaplaincies via email and a lead Chaplain was pleased to offer me a one-day placement in Guy’s Hospital, London.

“During the day, I was able to visit patients alongside a full-time volunteer. We visited a wide array of people in the renal, urology and cancer wards – all with different life and medical situations. We listened to, talked with, and offered spiritual support with those who wanted this. When welcomed to do so, we prayed with and for patients. I also participated in the weekly Christian Staff Fellowship meeting, where staff meet to support and encourage one another with the Bible, prayer, and singing. In addition, I joined the Trust Chaplaincy team briefing, and received an introduction to religious services in hospital, pastoral and spiritual care assessments, and support for hospital staff from the supporting Chaplain.

“Meeting patients was the highlight of the day. Engaging with them allowed me to see firsthand the impact of a compassionate presence, and value of spiritual support. One patient on the ward, thanking us for the time we had spent with her, reminded me of the principle that “you reap what you sow”.

“Interacting with chaplains and seeing how valued they are among staff and patients showed me how essential their role is in providing a complete package of care.

“It was great to be involved with enhancing the experience of patients in hospital: improving their emotional and spiritual health, giving them an opportunity to reflect on their circumstances well, and simply making their days a little better. Overall, I would describe my experience as refreshing, thought-provoking and meaningful”.

“I would like to thank Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS FT Chaplaincy, and in particular Revd Peter Oguntimehin (Senior Chaplain) for enabling the volunteering day to happen, giving me a warm introduction to spiritual care, and for making it a fruitful day. The work you are doing is invaluable and irreplaceable.

“Being in an acute setting reinforced the importance of keeping patients at the centre of all we are doing at NECS to support NHS organisations.

“I am very thankful to be part of an organisation which offers the chance to meaningfully support our communities alongside our regular work. It has been great to be one of many NECS colleagues taking up the opportunity to volunteer in this way.”