Students aged 18+
University Hospital Llandough, CF64 2XX
Once a week
The Llandough Hospital project is a mental health project where volunteers get to spend time with people who are at different stages of dementia and have mental health related conditions. The Mental Health Services for Older People has 4 Acute Assessment Wards and 2 Extended Assessment Wards. They offer in-patient assessment and treatment for people with acute mental health needs who cannot be supported in the community due to the severity of their behavioural and psychiatric symptoms. Patients may stay longer on the ward depending on the availability of other services.
Additionally, volunteers may be allocated to an Adult Long Stay Rehabilitation Ward. This ward provides support for mainly older adults with enduring mental health conditions who require specialist rehabilitation mental health services.
Volunteers visit once a week and go onto the wards always in pairs and spend time with the patients. Volunteers provide friendship and company to the patients on the ward and in addition enables volunteers to gain clinical mental health experience. Volunteers are expected to organise a pre-plan activity such as card making to take place for that session. Some wards have access to a kitchen and cooking/ baking is a popular activity with patients. Pre-planned activities may not be appropriate for all wards, however volunteers should still be encouraged to take resources with them. This can be as simple as taking a newspaper, cards or nail polish. Through volunteer engagement (facilitating activity sessions) the patients develop their social skills and gain back confidence they may have lost as a result of their mental health conditions.
This project is consistently very popular because volunteers can give something back to the community through volunteering and at the same time are able to gain unique experience and knowledge within this sector. Supporting older adults with dementia and/or mental health conditions can be emotional distressing at times; SVC are here to support you but please consider this aspect before applying.