Volunteers

Help us to create a shared history of the NHS… We need volunteers in Liverpool, Durham/The North East, Bristol/Bath and Glasgow.

Are you a good listener? Are you interested in people? We need help to collect people’s stories and memories of the National Health Service.

You’ll record stories from before the NHS began in 1948 to  today – from people treated by or employed in any part of the NHS. Discover some of the stories our volunteers have collected already here.

You will gain free professional ‘oral history’ training, receive local support and become a valued member of our team of our UK volunteer team.

Want to know more? Get in touch now!

Find out more about our volunteers from Manchester and South Wales below.

 

Name:  Lauren Massey

What motivated you to volunteer for NHS at 70?

I volunteered for the project because I wanted to have a go at oral history as it’s an area of history I hadn’t tried before so the comprehensive training was a big motivator. As well as volunteering because I’m a staunch supporter of the NHS, I wanted to gain experience working on a public history project about healthcare to potentially help pursue a career in this area, especially mental health.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

Studying history can be a lonely pursuit but oral history is very sociable way to study history. I really enjoyed meeting interviewees who gave their time and stories so generously and eloquently as well as bonding with the project team and fellow volunteers.

Why do you think the history of the NHS is important?

I think the NHS is one of the best things about Britain so it’s important to capture as much of its history as possible, especially areas that have been neglected such as its social history.

 

 

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Lauren Massey

Name: Gwen Crossley

What motivated you to volunteer for NHS at 70?

I was motivated to volunteer for NHS at 70 after hearing Stephanie (Dr Stephanie Snow) address a Regional meeting of the NHS Retirement Fellowship. I believe the NHS deserves celebrating and I realised I could help use my existing skills and gain new skills offered in training by the project team. I was also aware I had a number of contacts who might share memories. This has proven to be true.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

I enjoy the opportunity to hear some incredible life stories from wonderful people aged from 39 to 96 years. It is an immense privilege to be welcomed into the homes of complete strangers who I feel are friends at the end of the interview. It is rewarding to know that the memories of people aged in their 80's and 90's will not be lost.

Why do you think the history of the NHS is important?

NHS history is important because it helps our understanding of how society and the Health Service have changed over 70 plus years. We should never forget the difficulties that existed before the NHS with a nation largely suffering poor health and with a high infant mortality rate. From the start the NHS has responded to the ever changing needs of people. Understanding what has gone before helps to shape care today and in the future.

 

 

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Gwen Crossley

Name: Jane Hampson

What motivated you to volunteer for NHS at 70?

My father came to work in the UK as a new graduate from Ireland, because he was passionate about the NHS. He had a long career as a GP in Hartlepool, and he also worked as a psychiatric assistant. My mother was diagnosed with MS when I was young, so I have had a very medical background which felt a natural fit to the project. I also love stories and storytelling, and find how people respond to the human voice intriguing.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

I have really enjoyed meeting people with fascinating experiences who want to share those with the project. It is an enormous privilege to be the person who interviews them. I have enjoyed learning about different aspects of the NHS, and gaining further insights into what can be perceived more as a social movement than a business.

Why do you think the history of the NHS is important?

I feel it is important to capture and curate these histories as it is the people who matter in the NHS. It attracts kind people, is at its best when kindness flourishes. This is important in any society.  

Watch Jane talk about her motivations for volunteering here

 

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Jane Hampson

Name: Patrick Cornwell

What motivated you to volunteer for NHS at 70?  

A 67 year long love affair with a wonderful institution and the people who work in it and the people who built it.

What do you enjoy about volunteering? 

I love meeting people, hearing their stories and making a connection

Why do you think the history of the NHS is important?

Because it describes the story of something unique.

 

 

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Patrick Cornwell

Name: Barbara Holt

What motivated you to volunteer for NHS at 70?

I wanted to volunteer for NHS at 70 as having worked as a hospital doctor I have an interest in the NHS and its history. I was also keen to learn about oral history taking and develop new skills.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

The best thing about volunteering is meeting so many different people with fascinating stories to tell.

Why do you think the history of the NHS is important?

I believe the NHS is a fantastic institution which we often fail to appreciate and deserves to have its history preserved. Clinical practice has advanced so rapidly and dramatically over the last 70 years that it is important to have a lasting record of what things used to be like particularly from people who have experienced the NHS first hand, in whatever capacity.