Get to know our volunteers: Kay
It’s Volunteers' Week, so we want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to our 6000+ volunteers who work hard to help people have their say about changes and improvements to health and care services.
We’ve been speaking to our volunteers about their work with local Healthwatch and with the public, and about what inspired them to support our cause.
Kay Watkins has been a Community Champion with Healthwatch York for almost two years.
What inspired you to become a volunteer for Healthwatch York?
I am lucky to have friendships with extremely active women in their eighties. Their mental energy and enthusiasm for their local area inspired me to become a volunteer.
What kind of things do you get involved with?
There is a wide range of activities to get involved with at Healthwatch York, so I can choose things that suit my personality, skills and family commitments.
I enjoy being part of the NELLI café (New Earswick Less Loneliness Initiative) which aims to reduce loneliness in the village. It runs weekly and provides activities and a social space for everyone. I have got to know people who attend regularly and look forward to meeting up with them.
I also spoke to young people who took part in a local challenge, which promotes healthy life choices. As part of this, I met a special needs group who were inspiring and working with them was very rewarding.
How does volunteering make you feel?
Volunteering contributes to my sense of belonging and keeps me alive and useful. My confidence has boosted through my work and as I’m now a pensioner it’s important for me to feel that I am still in touch with the local scene and that I’m contributing to help social and health care in York.
What kind of people have you met?
I meet all sorts of people and get a real buzz from introducing myself as a Healthwatch volunteer. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunities to build friendly and helpful relationships and often feel humbled when I hear people’s experiences of the health and care system.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer?
Go for it, you will enjoy it! There is a strong sense of belonging locally that comes through voluntary work and that must be good for everyone. As a Healthwatch volunteer there are plenty of ways to get involved and share your own life experiences to help others.
Want to get involved?
If you are interested in volunteering to improve health and social care services, why not contact your local Healthwatch.