Volunteers Week: My reflections from one year of volunteering with You Okay, Doc?


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Since the age of ten, I’ve witnessed through the experience of loved ones what it’s like to study medicine and work in the NHS. I’ve seen the long hours healthcare professionals work, the endless pressure they face, their dedication and the continuous worry many of them carry as they strive to deliver the best result for their patients. They do all of this whilst working against a backdrop of a growing and ageing patient population, negative rhetoric in some media, limited budgets and a rapidly reducing workforce.

Like many, I feel a huge sense of pride for our NHS – but sadly my emotions towards our healthcare system are more complex than that. I also harbour a lot of frustration at the situation our healthcare community operates within, and the continous stress they experience. And so, after many years of feeling this way, I knew that I had to do something about it. It was this feeling which led me to volunteering for You Okay, Doc? as I searched for ‘something’ or ‘someone’ who was tackling this problem head on.

Upon discovering You Okay, Doc? I was struck by their empathetic approach to delivering change for our healthcare community, which centres the needs of the people we’re here to support at the heart of every decision and approach.

After connecting with the charity via email, I began my volunteering journey in April 2023. Little did I know that my eagerness to do something to help the healthcare community would quickly turn into one of the most fulfilling life experiences I’ve ever had.

Volunteering has enabled me to dust off some rusty email marketing skills, to rediscover the highs (and lows) of event management, built up my experience of working with Trustees and has given me a new perspective of what I want from my career. I’m grateful to have worked in an environment which has trusted my judgement, has valued my skills, has ultimately empowered me to make change and has supported me to get the maximum out of this volunteering opportunity which I do outside of my 9-5 job.

This experience has reinforced that any kind of volunteering, no matter how big or small, is a force for good and a key mechanism for driving positive change in our society.

So, if you think you could lend an hour a week, a month or even every 6 months to a cause you care about (and who knows, perhaps that will be You Okay, Doc?), then I’d encourage you to consider it. If you’d like to know more about how you can volunteer with You Okay, Doc? or would like to learn more about my experience, you can connect with me on email: bronagh@youokaydoc.org.uk