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“Volunteering was an incredible experience”

“What does a final year university student do during her summer break? Well, I decided to pack my bags, and move to the other side of the world for six weeks.

As I approached the end of my degree in Nuclear Medicine back home in Australia, I wanted to take on a new challenge before I moved from being a student to a healthcare professional. I’d completed a six-week clinical placement in Australia, and it made me realise I had a real passion for medical radiation intervention for neurological disorders. So when I spotted an opportunity to apply for a short-term volunteer/intern role at The National Brain Appeal in London, I jumped at it.

After a short interview over Skype, I was delighted to be accepted for the position. The charity’s connection to The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery was ideal – it’s a hub for medical radiation intervention! For me, it was the perfect fit.

From day one, I was treated as if I was a real member of the team and never once felt I was a ‘newbie’. The genuine dedication the entire team has is pretty contagious! I got to experience the charity’s day-to-day admin work in the office, and loved meeting supporters and fundraisers (the photo above shows me on the right, receiving a donation from Waitrose as part of their Commuity Matters programme). I think the ultimate highlight for me was the few days’ work experience in the hospital. I thoroughly enjoyed the clinical practice. The neurosurgeons and physicians were really friendly, and answered all my questions about the procedures taking place. It was an incredible experience and one that I’ll remember for a long time.

I was interested to learn about The National Brain Appeal’s current fundraising project, which is to create an interventional neuroradiology service for stroke by raising £1.5m. Many of the fundraising events that I helped to work on in my time here (including A Letter In Mind and individual challenge events) will all result in donations, which should help to achieve that magic total. I am so grateful to think that my time here volunteering has helped, in some small way, towards creating this new service for patients in the future.”

Ankitha Ramesh

Would you be willing to give up a few hours of your time to help us? We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers! We have a range of roles – get in touch with brooke.parsons@uclh.nhs.uk if would like more details.

 

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