Sheena Shore commenced her volunteer journey here at St. Raphael's in October 2019. In the interview, Ginny Toubal, our Volunteer Services Manager, quickly identified her as a suitable candidate to take up the new role at the front line of our newly opened Wellbeing Centre. For this role, Sheena met and greeted our community patients and carers who came to attend various sessions, such as complementary therapy or outpatient appointments.

She did this with alacrity, often making excellent recommendations of how to extend the new role. Sheena quickly and easily built up rapport with all who attended the centre. In February, we had to close the centre to patients due to the escalating Covid-19 pandemic and in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission to our patients. In addition, we had to stand down most of our receptionists to further reduce footfall and risk to our In Patient Unit. Sheena was the first volunteer to offer to support the hospice in whatever way would be of most benefit. Although staff including me as the Reception Manager, were redeployed to cover the front line during the week, Sheena became a member of a team of six who covered the weekend shifts throughout the lockdown and beyond. After a short intensive induction to the new reception/Covid-19 temperature/information station role, Sheena quickly demonstrated her flexibility and ability to take everything in her stride.

She is a true professional with the highest integrity and excellent interpersonal skills. She has been an integral member of our weekend team throughout the most challenging unprecedented times. When our ward clerk needed to take extended leave due to a family emergency, we immediately identified Sheena as, yet again, the most suitable person to help. This she did without hesitation and, as she completely understood the reception role at the frontline, she could emphasise and become a 'partner' on the ward side in tandem with her receptionist colleagues or myself. Sheena has covered as ward clerk for over three months supporting the clinical and medical staff sometimes over 25 hours per week and, on occasions, coming in at very short notice.

Sheena has gone beyond the call of duty throughout her albeit short time with us and due to the pandemic, has received limited induction at times. She has remained a calming influence on our patients, their loved ones and all members of the multidisciplinary team. She has become a true asset to our organisation, making a huge impact towards the high level of care we have strived to maintain and deliver to our patients and loved ones throughout the most challenging times.

These are a few of the comments received from In-Patient Unit (IPU) staff.

“Sheena has been a life saver for us ward nurses. Her receptionist skills are amazing and nothing is too much trouble. Sheena has been so supportive, helpful and willing. Sheena tactfully and appropriately spoke up on behalf of a close friend of a relative and, because of her compassion, we were able to support the close friend and enable them to visit. The patient in question only had one visiting relative. This would have been overlooked if it was not for Sheena.” Senior Staff Nurse, IPU.

“Thank you so much for all the time and effort that Volunteer Services have spent covering the IPU with such an excellent volunteer and we really do appreciate it.” Tracey, In Patient Unit Manager.

“Sheena has been a great addition to the IPU team and is very supportive of all our roles here on the IPU. She has embraced the role completely and whenever unsure in any way, she asks the most appropriate person and is an exceptional quick learner. She always uses her initiative and never sits with nothing to do. I have overheard her on the telephone to relatives and she is articulate, calm and reassuring, relaying messages to the team and updating them whenever necessary.” Tracey - In Patient Manager

“Sheena has supported us by coming into the IPU with a limited induction and at times short notice and we really have appreciated it”. Medical staff member

“Sheena has proved to be an asset to our team in our hour of need, nothing fazes her and she is happy to carry out all manner of tasks that have been asked of her, even when she has not done them before. She always found a suitable team member to help her if needed.” Band 6 Senior Staff Nurse

“Highly skilled and used her initiative extremely well - very thankful for her help.” Admin team leader.