Getting to know our volunteers: Les
Last year our volunteers helped over 283,000 people find information about local health and care services.
Find out more about how our volunteers raise awareness of important health issues.
Les Lodge has been a long standing volunteer with Healthwatch Essex.
What inspired you to become a volunteer for Healthwatch Essex?
As a carer of someone diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I wanted to raise awareness of neurological conditions and help to remove the stigma of the illness.
What kind of things do you get involved with?
I am involved in many aspects of volunteering, including providing information on health and care, giving emotional support and fundraising. I help to run courses for people recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Lately, I have also been involved with the local Clinical Commissioning Group, which means I can help to change health and care using my experiences.
What do you find most fulfilling about volunteering?
Volunteering takes you through all the emotions – joy, despair, tears, laughter. The biggest buzz is getting to be hands on and helping individuals and families come to terms with their situation.
What kind of people have you met while volunteering?
I have volunteered most of my life and have met many inspirational people from different walks of life, who I would not have normally met. It has broadened my understanding of people and helped me to become more tolerant of other people’s views.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer?
Volunteering will enrich your life and improve your outlook. It may also help you to achieve a personal ambition, or give you direction in life. Improving skills and having new opportunities are all personal benefits of volunteering.
For me, one of the best things is the simple 'thank you' I get from the people I have helped.
Share your experience
If you want to help improve health and care services, why not join your local Healthwatch as a volunteer?